“We are very proud of our ‘coffee table’ edition of Summersun 2013 brochure,” said Chris Merriman, Deputy Managing Director of Thomas Cook Holidays Ireland at the launch of the company’s brochure (all 268 pages!) to travel media on Tuesday evening.
“We are offering a differentiating product,” he added, “and we are happy to report that the early signs are pretty good – bookings for summer 2013 are well up on this time last year, as are those for cruises and our Club 18-30 programme. We hope to see the fruits of our ‘Don’t just book it. Thomas Cook It’ slogan for next summer.”
Other good news is that Managing Director John Kinane is “back on his feet and will be back to work next week”.
John Grehan was on hand to give out spot prizes – and your Irish Travel Trade News correspondent was the only one of 20-plus travel journalists present who was able to identify a photo of the beach at Sharm el Sheikh, hence winning a 100% Egyptian cotton bedset and towel.
The brochure offers 21 destinations and nearly 300 properties, 57 of which are exclusive to Thomas Cook, and with flights from Dublin, Cork and Shannon.
There are 37 new properties, and an increase in all-inclusive options, many with family activity programmes such as FamilyWorld – at the Stella Palace in Crete, all-inclusive from €719. In Cyprus there is a new Kids Club option in the Tsokkos Gardens, from €819 based on two adults sharing a studio with meals and drinks included.
Also new for 2013 is the Cost de la Luz in south-west Spain, with Port Umbria the setting for two 4-star hotels, starting from €715pps for seven nights at the Barcelo Punta Umbria Mar.
There are three new properties in France, two in Cannes and the other in St Paul de Vence in Provence, where seven nights in a cottage at the 3-star Bergerie costs €529 for four adults sharing.
The 5-star Barut Hotels Lara Resort Spa at Lara Beach on the Turkish Med is now available all-inclusive from €975pps with a sea view. The Egypt programme also has two new 5-star all-inclusive hotels, from €975pps in the Andalucian-style Baron Palms.
Villas have been added to the many hotels and apartments on offer in Gran Canaria. The three-bedroom Sunshine Villas in Puerto Rico sleep six adults from €629pp.