Thomas Cook's main German brand Neckermann Reisen is adding more long-haul capacity for winter 2016/17 and keeping short-haul prices generally stable.
As part of the launch of the up-market brand Thomas Cook Signature, numerous mid-market hotels in long-haul destinations have been transferred to the Neckermann portfolio. As a result, the mass market tour operator brand has a significantly expanded long-haul programme for winter 2016/17.
“As our mainstream tour operator, Neckermann Reisen is profiting from the sharper branding that we carried out with the introduction of the premium brand Thomas Cook Signature,” said Germany chief Stefanie Berk. The brand will offer more than 1,700 hotels in nine brochures and a further 5,000 hotels in reservation systems.
In Thailand, the number of hotels has increased by 19 to 124, while there are 34 more hotels in South Africa and 16 in Namibia. There are now two separate brochures covering ‘Asia’ and ‘Africa, Orient and Indian Ocean’.
In the Caribbean, various islands in the Lesser Antilles (Antigua, Barbados, Martinique, Grenada, Tobago und St. Lucia) are new destinations, with 37 hotels in total, and served by new weekly Condor flights to the islands.
Among short- and medium-haul destinations, capacity for the Canary Islands has been expanded significantly to 224 hotels, especially with new properties on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. “The Canary Islands have seen extreme demand both last winter and this summer and have profited from the weakness of Turkey and North Africa,” said Berk. “We expect good demand again next winter and so we have expanded our programme again for the islands.” Customers can now fly to and from the Canaries with different airlines, thus broadening the choice of airlines and flight times. In contrast, capacity for Turkey next winter is described as ‘generally stable’, with 45 hotels in the Antalya region.
Prices for short- and medium-haul destinations are mostly stable, with slight increases for the Canaries and Majorca but reductions for Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey. Among long-haul destinations, the Caribbean is more expensive but Thailand, Kenya and South Africa are cheaper.
No summer sales figures were disclosed for Neckermann Reisen. Thomas Cook only commented that demand for Turkey and North African destinations is weak, while the Caribbean, and especially Cuba, is “an absolute trend destination”.