Summer 2020 programme

FTI launches big hotel expansion with ex-Thomas Cook partners

FTI's management duo: Dietmar Gunz (left) and Ralph Schiller
Rita Münck
FTI's management duo: Dietmar Gunz (left) and Ralph Schiller

German tourism group FTI aims to profit from Thomas Cook’s collapse with its largest-ever hotel portfolio for summer 2020, including many former Cook partner hotels, after growing rapidly this year.

The Munich-based group expects to increase its turnover by at least 10% to €4.1 billion in the year ending October 2019, with Turkey, Greece, Cuba, North America and Thailand among the winners.

“With a 12% rise in revenues, the tour operating business across all source markets has delivered solid organic growth for us this year,” said CEO Dietmar Gunz at this week’s presentation of the summer 2020 programme. Customer volumes increased by 8%, meaning the average selling price was 4% higher than last year.

For summer 2020, FTI already has a “very good double-digit revenue increase” from early bookings and is looking ahead optimistically.

In particular, the group will offer a large number of former Cook partner hotels in both short-haul and long-haul destinations, especially in Greece, the Canaries, Turkey and the Caribbean. “We are closing the gaps that Thomas Cook has left behind with hotels,” Gunz said.

Group Managing Director Ralph Schiller, who is responsible for sales and marketing, added: “80% of the Thomas Cook hotel portfolio is already bookable through us; for example, properties operating under the Iberostar, Sunrise or Casa Cook brands. Most of these new hotels are not shown in the freshly printed summer brochures due to the short notice but are bookable through the reservation systems.”

He continued: “In the next few weeks we will offer even more hotels, which will definitely lead in a re-ordering of market shares as a result.”

The group’s subsidiary MP Hotels, which currently operates 75 own-brand properties in 11 countries, has recently opened various new properties, including KAIRABA hotels and Club Sei resorts.  

Gunz confirmed an fvw report that FTI will also take over the TUI Magic Life Waterworld in Belek next year but added: “We don’t know yet under which of our own brands.” Moreover, the group has finally received permission to start rebuilding the extensive Stella Canaris Resort on Fuerteventura, which it acquired three years ago.

Regarding prices for summer 2020, Egypt, the UAE, the Canaries, the Balearics and Cyprus will all be cheaper than this summer thanks to FTI contracting more capacity, and only Italy will be slightly more expensive.

In terms of destinations, Schiller said demand for Turkey is “at a high point” and there will be more offers for families next summer, while the Canary Islands portfolio will be expanded by 20 properties to more than 500 hotels.

In Egypt, the tour operator is offering 14 new hotels along with Taba Heights which was not bookable on the German market for several years due to security concerns from the German foreign ministry. There is also an extensive programme for the UAE, Oman and several other Middle East destinations.