Going Abroad with Tui and Thomas Cook

By | Category: Travel rumblings

This week saw financial figures released from both TUI (owners of Thomson and First Choice) as well as Thomas Cook (who also own Airtours). As these four brands are the dominant players in the overseas package holiday market, their comments give a better idea than anyone else’s about what we, the holidaymaker, are going through. Both have cut the number of holidays to try and match the downturn. Both are down about 14% in the number of holidays they have sold and both have almost managed to match the number of holidays to the number of expected buyers.
What it means for us though is that by managing that process, we seem to be having to pay about 10% more to go abroad this summer. Some of that is certainly due to the weakness of the pound against other currencies. Countries like Spain and Cyprus that heavily rely on the British holidaymakers are bending over backwards in trying to persuade the travel agents that we should go. In turn the travel agents should be trying hard as well. Yet this rise looks as though it is sticking so you may have to grin and bear it.
So where will be the best bargains?
Good question and the answer will vary depending on timing. More tourist authorities will be spending money as it comes closer to crunch time. The Mexicans, for example, agreed a $58 million dollar package to help the Mexican tourist industry once the swine flu crisis is over. The Thai government has come to the aid of its tourist industry after the demonstrations there. So what seems a price today may be cheaper later.
So can we afford to wait? If you are flexible in you holiday dates, maybe. If you are limited to school holidays, it could be tougher and you should probably expect to have to pay more,- at least if you’re going abroad. The answer is probably that if you see a holiday you like and it meets your budget, book it. Waiting around may not help

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