Thomas Cook Launches Sale Of Olympic Holidays

Thomas Cook Group Plc, a UK-based travel company, has launched a new sale as it struggles to find buyers for its Olympic break packages.

The London City breaks, which are scheduled around the 2012 Olympics Games, were launched earlier in June 2012 with the intention of capturing the last minute crowd interested in securing tickets to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

With the Games now less than month away, the company has slashed its prices on the London Breaks offer with a sale that is offering discounts of as much as 50 percent on the original package prices.

Olympic Athletics Finals Tickets are on offer, with Athletics 100m Finals Hospitality Breaks, available at £2,699, which includes Category AA, A or B Olympic Athletics tickets, luxurious Central London accommodation, meals at top London restaurants, breakfast at the hotel, coach travel between the Olympic Stadium and the hotel, and a dedicated Games host to look after guests during the London 2012 experience.

For budget conscious travellers, there are Budget Game Breaks, including the Two Events One Night Travelodge Heathrow Central package, valid on August 9 to 10, 2012, with event tickets for the Women’s Football Final, and Wrestling Freestyle Men’s 55kg/74kg, for prices commencing at £169 per person.

Stephen Vaughan, the company managing director for the Thomas Cook London 2012 Partnership, said, ‘This very special and limited offer on some of our remaining Games Breaks is in response to what we know our customers want – guaranteed seats and hotels that offer them great value.’

Olympics Tickets Disappointment Likely To Lead To Holiday Booking Uplift

April was a terrible sales period for many in the travel industry due to a combination of the recession, Easter and the Royal Wedding. May has been marginally better for sales with encouraging signs that consumers are booking holidays again.

Recent research by Arena Media ( (the Havas-owned media planning and buying group) has also identified the Olympic Games ticket ballot as having a significant impact on major purchases such as holidays.

In the survey of over 1,000 UK adults, 30% of those surveyed said that bidding for Olympics tickets had made them hold off spending on major purchases such as holidays. With the vast majority of money already taken from accounts in the first round ballot, the survey also found that few people have got more than 20% of their preferred allocation.

Whilst not good news for those wanting to attend the Olympic Games, it is great news for travel companies as these consumers have now freed up significant sums of money that may be able to spend on booking their summer holiday.

The key headlines from the research show that:

– 63% of those who bid for tickets got none of their allocation, whilst 35% got some of what they wanted with only 2% getting most or all.

– 75% of respondents will wait for 2nd round ballot options before deciding what next to do in pursuit of tickets.

– Most respondents appear to have got only 1-2 events at most. Those spending over GBP1,000 were more likely to get tickets than those spending less, but spending more did not necessarily mean more tickets.

– Half of respondents thought the ballot process was unfair whilst a further 30% thought it was unfair but that it was the best available option.

Chris Armond, Group Business Director at Arena Media, said: “The uncertainty with the ballot process made people hesitant about making major purchases until they found out how much they were committed to. With the vast majority of people being disappointed in the ballot, and more realistic about their chances of getting any tickets, many people will be more willing to book their summer holiday now”