Thomas Cook Germany chief Stefanie Berk Photo: Thomas Cook

Advertising for a Turkey comeback


Thomas Cook and FTI are hopeful for an upturn in Turkey bookings, with Cook set to launch a Germany-wide marketing campaign for the destination.

Thomas Cook Germany is launching an advertising campaign for Turkey this month in an effort to speed up a comeback for the troubled destination. The tour operator suffered a slump in bookings for Turkey and North Africa from November until January but demand has clearly picked up again since mid-February, managing director Stefanie Berk told fvw.

She now wants to stimulate demand with a multi-channel advertising campaign for Turkey during March. “Many early booking discounts expire during this period and consumers will need a push to get them booking,” she said.

Berk said she is convinced that overall demand will recover. “The impression that Germans do not want to travel is completely wrong,” she said. This is shown by the strong demand for alternative destinations such as the western Mediterranean and long-haul trips, which are growing at a double-digit rate, led by Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Long-haul travel now generates a quarter of Cook’s turnover.

Meanwhile, Munich-based FTI is optimistic it will grow this year despite the impact of the collapse in Egypt and Turkey bookings on its overall business. Like other tour operators, FTI is also seeing good bookings for the western Mediterranean and long-haul holidays. It has double-digit growth for Spain, Portugal, the UAE, Germany and Italy, resulting in an overall single-digit sales increase to date.

“We expect to close the business year again with a rise in turnover,” said sales and marketing director Ralph Schilller just ahead of ITB. He also expects sales for the eastern Mediterranean to start rising again soon as capacity gets short further west. “We’re absolutely convinced that Turkey will make a comeback and really catch up in the summer,” he declared. In terms of Egypt, the passenger numbers to Hurghada “are still stable”, flight capacity has not been cut and “a load factor of well over 90% speaks for itself”.

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