Late checkouts, welcome packages, wellness treatments and family extras are among the latest bookable extras from Thomas Cook for summer 2019 along with 20 more own-brand hotels and price increases.
Germany’s second-largest tour operator unveiled the four new ‘ancillary’ products at its summer 2019 programme presentation together with sales trends for this year.
Germany chief Stefanie Berk described 2018 as “a year of ups and downs”. She said bookings started strongly but then melted away in the exceptional heatwave conditions during late spring and the summer months, while summertime ‘flight chaos’ with numerous delays and cancellations also had a heavy impact. “At the end the increase had melted away again and we stood there with plus-minus zero,” she admitted. However, revenues increased slightly due to higher selling prices.
In the most eye-catching product move for summer 2019, Thomas Cook customers with late return flights will be able to book in advance late checkouts and use their room until 8pm on their departure day in 52 hotels in Spain, Greece and Turkey next summer. The price starts at €14 per person but will depend on the individual room and the season. Similarly, holidaymakers can make advance bookings for differently-priced extras such as wellness treatments in various Sunprime and Sunwing Hotels hotels, welcome packages (including a coffee machine in the hotel room) and family needs such as a pushchair or high-chair.
Berk commented: “We see that demand is being created in the area of ancillaries and the conversions are significant. We have many opportunities in our own hotels in particular.” Cook already offers advance reservations of preferred hotel rooms (booked by 16% of contacted customers) and sunbeds (6% conversion rate) in selected hotels.
Prices will go up by 2% on average, according to Sascha Büsseler, head of Yield & Product Central Europe. There will be increases for major destinations such as Majorca and the Canaries (1%), Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia (all 3%), and Greece (4%). In terms of destinations, Cook has increased flight capacity to Turkey by 30% along with 16 new hotels, added the small Greek islands of Thassos, Skiathos and Skopelos, and expanded its Tunisia programme
Meanwhile, Thomas Cook Group will add 20 more own-brand hotels next summer, taking the total initially to 164. The company said on Wednesday that it will confirm further new openings within the coming months to take the portfolio to 200 hotels.
The 2019 expansion will focus on the new Cook’s Clubs for millennials, with eight more properties, along with the up-market brand Sentido (6 more hotels), Sun Connect (3), Casa Cook (2) and Aldiana (1). There will be six new properties in Spain (including the Casa Cook Ibiza and a Cook’s Club on Majorca), four in Greece (including two Cook’s Clubs and the first Casa Cook for families in Chania on Crete), and three in Turkey (including two Cook’s Clubs).
Enric Noguer, chief of Hotels & Resorts, said: “These latest announcements demonstrate further progress in developing our Hotels and Resorts division into a hotel company within Thomas Cook, working with strong partners and focused around hotel management, franchising, and sales and distribution. Next year we will add three more managed hotels taking our total to 24 hotels as we accelerate our ambitions to take on more management contracts for hotels around the Mediterranean.”