China is being targeted in the next stage of expansion by Thomas Cook.

Group chief executive Manny Fontenla Novoa has made it clear that the Chinese travel sector is ripe for development following the company’s deal to acquire a 50.1% stake in Russian travel giant Intourist.

A similar joint venture is likely in China in the wake of the Intourist arrangement and Cook’s move into India two years ago.

“Our strategy has been to go into India, Russia and China,” Fontenla Novoa reportedly said.

“We’ve done India. We’re doing Russia this year and we’ll probably look to do something in China in 2012.”

The comments came ahead of the group releasing full year financial results on Wednesday which are forecast to pre-tax profits down by around 9% to £276 million over the previous 12 months.