Thomas Cook cites marketing for gains

Thomas Cook has declared its recently launched marketing campaign an early success after reporting website bookings made by UK holidaymakers have increased in recent weeks.

Thomas Cook

Online bookings were up 19% on last year in the last four weeks, the company says, offsetting a 10% dip in bookings made on the high street. Overall, bookings were down 2%.

Last month, the holiday company took the unusual step of launching its biggest marketing campaign of the year in spring to attract people booking summer 2012 holidays late and winter holidays early.

It has also invested heavily in its online platform to try and drive 50% of its bookings online.

Sam Weihagen, group chief executive officer, says:

“In the last few weeks we have seen an improvement in UK booking trends, helped by our recently launched advertising campaign and upgrades to our website.”

Thomas Cook will be hoping that the recent gains continue after a “deterioration” in trading in its domestic business last year. It is also looking to draw a line under the financial difficulties that led to emergency debt refinancing late last year.

The company followed the deal with creditors by announcing the closure of 200 “under performing” high street shops as part of a slew of cost-cutting measures designed to reassure investors.

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