Web bookings rocket for Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook UK saw online bookings through its website increase by more than one-third for the winter 2008-09 season, accounting for 34.7% of its total mass-market business.

The figures, which refer to departures made during the six months to end of March 2009, represent a 37% hike on the same period last year when the web accounted for 25.2% of the total.

Thomas Cook UK also lifted the amount of business carried out through its own channels to 66.3% from 63.7%.

“Control of distribution and, in particular, growth of sales through the internet continues to be a key cornerstone of our strategy for future success [in the UK],” the statement said.

The half-yearly results also showed a big increase in web bookings in its Canadian unit, although the acquisition of independent wholesaler Triwest last June “heavily influenced’ the figures.

It paid C$114 million for the business, or £56 million at the time. The proportion of Canadians who booked online came in at 34.7%, a 200%+ increase.

Elsewhere, it improved its already strong online performance in Scandinavia, it Northern Europe division, lifting web bookings to 47.5% from 38.3% last time. Continental Europe, primarily Germany and France, saw only 9% of bookings online, an improvement from 8% previously.

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