Security fears hit tour operator bookings

Thomas Cook says Turkey has not recovered
Summer bookings at major European tour operator Thomas Cook have fallen as security worries mean more people are choosing Spain over Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt, more than it is managing to adjust flights.
The operator has already shifted 1.2 million airline seats from the eastern to the western Mediterranean. But are bookings are still down by 5%, something that will hit its full-year profits. In the Canaries, the Balearics and mainland Spain it has not found enough extra hotel rooms to meet demand.
Turkey was Cook’s second most popular destination in 2015, but it has not recovered since an attack on tourists in Istanbul in January.
“This has had a particular impact on our German airlines business, which is the market leader into Turkey,” explains chief executive Peter Fankhauser. Bookings in Belgium, meanwhile, have come to a “standstill”.
Customers may turn to Turkey at the last minute, he said, as “there is no late market in Spain, because Spain is filling up extremely fast.”


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