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Photo: Casa Cook / Thomas Cook Group

First Casa Cook resort to open in Asia

Thomas Cook’s new boutique beach resort brand is part of the expansion plans of its venture with the Chinese investment firm Fosun.

Three years after launching the hotel brand, Thomas Cook says it will open the first Casa Cook boutique beach resort in Asia as part of the expansion plans from its joint venture with the Chinese investment firm Fosun.

Peter Fankhauser, Thomas Cook Group’s chief executive, signed memorandums of understanding with Fosun for the development of a Casa Cook property and a Sunwing Family Resort in Lijiang in southwestern China and Taicang near Shanghai, TTG reports.

The hotels will be built by Fosun and managed by Thomas Cook China, and both are expected to open in late 2020.

The first Casa Cook hotel opened on the island of Rhodes in May 2016, followed by a second on Kos later that year.

Casa is “a new breed of hotels inspired by the spirit of our times”, its website says. The adults-only boutique hotels are “always individual, always laid-back”, created for “trend-conscious travellers”.

They bring “an urban beat to the beach” with “stylish design, great value, sociable and laid-back vibes, healthy food and a taste of local flavours and adventures”.

Thomas Cook China, meanwhile, was founded in 2016 and grew customers “eight-fold” in 2018, according to Cook, which says it was “building the foundations to grow” to become comparable in size to Cook’s other key source markets.

Sunny south
The two properties follow previously announced projects with Hong Kong-based resort development company DreamEast Group for two Sunwing resorts – one in Jiashan near Shanghai and the other Hengyang in southern China.

“By partnering with Fosun to develop two flagship new hotels that will be managed through our joint venture, we’re making the most of our relationship to give Chinese customers a holiday experience that’s very different to what’s on offer from the competition,” Fankhauser said.

“It’s especially pleasing to be realising our long-held ambition to work with Fosun to launch own-brand hotels, which form the core of our group strategy for profitable growth here in China.”

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