Brits stay at home forcing Thomas Cook to cut holidays

Brits are postponing booking their annual holidays because worries over the state of the economy, travel giants Thomas Cook have revealed. The holiday group have therefore cut the amount of holidays on offer this year, a move it can make without loss as it is not a big owner of aircraft or hotels in the UK.

A swift u-turn since February when they announced that they would in fact be increasing holidays on offer by three percent, not shrinking by one per cent. The firm said that compared to other European holiday markets, the rate of bookings by Britons has noticeably declined due to the growing economic uncertainty in the country.

Thomas Cook chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa confirmed that while strong growth with the company’s German airline and tour operator had been seen for summer holiday bookings this year, the same could not be said for the UK market. He predicted that the decrease in spending is a result of ‘fragile consumer sentiment.’

Cumulative bookings were reported to have made a six per cent jump in early February, but are now only one percent up on this time last year. Average prices are, however, still up four percent.

Fontenla-Novoa also said that the capacity cut backs were partly due to a proposed merger of Thomas Cook with the Co-operative Group travel agents. The deal has currently been delayed while it is referred to the Competition Commission.