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Published on Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hotel price hikes prompt capacity cuts in Spain

Thomas Cook Group is expecting to take an extra 500,000 guests to Greece this summer but rising hotel prices in Spain mean that it might cut capacity there.

CEO Peter Fankhauser said the operator was seeing a 40% rise in demand for Greece, which is benefiting from reduced demand for Turkey.

He said the operator was prepared to trim capacity to Spain and take more beds in Greece if demand continued to rise.

Hotel prices in Spain have risen 6% to 8% this year, said Fankhauser, while in Greece they are up only 1% to 3%. As the price increases are passed on to customers, Fankhauser said any rise above 5% tended to have an impact on demand.

However, he said the price increases in Spain were 'natural' and he insisted that hoteliers were not being greedy. "They are reasonable," he said in a press conference this morning. "They are following the natural curve."

Greece is now Thomas Cook's top selling destination, having recovered from the financial and refugee crises which pushed it into fifth position.

Other smaller destinations are also seeing an opportunity to expand due to reduced demand for Turkey, said Fankhauser. He said these include Cyprus, Bulgaria and Croatia.

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