Thomas Cooke says people sidestepping their summer hol’s

UK bookings have slowed says Europe’s second largest travel company, Thomas Cooke, due to cash strapped Britons trying to survive the government’s fiscal squeeze and sacrificing their annual two weeks of sun.

Most markets are still up for cumulative bookings nevertheless the rate of bookings has declined noticeably in the UK because of the continual economic uncertainty said the company. When the group last updated the market the cumulative bookings were up a total of 6% about the cumulative Britain summer bookings were only 1% ahead of last year.

Due almost nil earnings growth and much higher inflation due to the VAT increase in January and oil and food hikes, British consumers are becoming much more unwilling to spend. The reductions in welfare and increased job losses due to government cuts and higher interest rates also have may worried.

Normally this does not cause Britons to give up their hard earned holiday even if it meant cutbacks in other places, but this situation has caused many to reconsider travelling. TUI Travel’s Chief Executive Peter Long said on Monday that demand for the annual holidays for summer was proving to be quite resilient.

While Thomas Cooke announced that their cumulative summer reservations were up close to 4% in central Europe (Austria, Germany and Switzerland) and over 11% in northern Europe with Airlines Germany up 9% and down 1% in West/East Europe. The selling prices had increased both in Britain up 4% and Central Europe up over 3%.