UK tour operator Thomas Cook has said that people are being more selective with their holiday bookings because of recent global terror threats. Summer bookings were down by 5% from last year, with the global travel company saying that, increasingly, more people are making their holiday bookings later in the year and less in advance. Booking numbers to Turkey have plunged further after an attack in Istanbul on 12 January. Just days ago (19 March 2016), the country's capital, Ankara, was rocked by a suspected suicide-bomber attack.
"Thomas Cook continues to operate in a volatile market environment," Peter Fankhauser, the company's chief executive, said. "We know that customers want a summer holiday, but we can see that some are leaving it later to book this year as they consider their options."
The company's share price plunged by 4.10% in early morning trading on Tuesday (22 March), likely weighed down by the shock of two explosions at Zaventem airport in Brussels. Terror attacks such as those in Paris and Turkey have hit tourism companies such as Thomas Cook and rival Tui.
In response to the challenging environment in which the firm operates, it is focusing on margins rather than just sales. It has signalled that it expects its full-year results to be in line with previous forecasts.