Thomas Cook predicts surge in Greece bookings

Thomas Cook predicts surge in Greece bookings

LONDON - Reuters
Thomas Cook predicts surge in Greece bookings

AFP Photo

British tour operator Thomas Cook expects a surge in bookings to Greece if it leaves the eurozone, as holidays to the Mediterranean nation would become a better value for hard-pressed travelers.

“If Greece exits (the euro), for the tourism industry it could be very profitable,” interim chief executive Sam Weihagen said after the company posted a steep first-half loss on Thursday.

“Most probably holidays to Greece will be more profitable for holidaymakers than they are today and places like Spain could lose competitiveness,” he told reporters.

The 171-year-old travel group said summer bookings to Greece from Germany were down around 20 percent year-on-year but that bookings from elsewhere to the crisis-hit nation had held up.

Tourism is a vital source of income for Greece, accounting for about a fifth of gross domestic product. The outcome of an election next month will likely decide whether Greece remains in the euro.