Research backs up Cook’s peak push

Thomas Cook is cutting prices by up to £400 as it released research showing that a foreign holiday is the number one spending priority for Britons in 2012.

The YouGov poll of 2,066 people showed that “millions” intend to book a package holiday, according to Cook as it released details of its peak booking season campaign.

Mainland Spain tops the list of most popular destinations for those yet to book at 29%. The Balearics remains popular (24%), closely followed by France, the Canaries and Greece (all at 23%).

Egypt and Tunisia see a slight increase as destinations being considered despite the impact of the Arab spring and Italy is expected to see a rise in popularity.

The research also showed that 3% plan to stay at home because of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Destinations are the main focus for Cook’s new advertising campaign, which sees a range of locations featured in its high street agencies, online and on TV.

The promotion, which broke on TV on Boxing Day, extends into newspapers and radio from December 31.

Cook’s UK and Ireland mainstream chief executive Ian Ailles said: “A holiday is, for many households, the biggest annual purchase.

“Every pound is precious these days and our experts in our stores, online or at the end of a phone understand the need to reassure holidaymakers that they are buying the right holiday at the best possible price.“

Unveiling a ‘best price guarantee, he added: “With an overseas holiday being Britain’s number one spending priority next year, we’re so confident that we offer British holidaymakers the widest range of holidays at the best price that we’re also launching our Price Beat Promise. We have a very clear message – we won’t be beaten on price.

“If there’s one thing as valuable as money it’s time, we’ve been saving it for customers for 170 years. We’ll give holidaymakers as much or as little time and advice as they need in store to make the right decision.”

Prices lead in at £925 per person on a Thomas Cook Holidays with Style package to Bodrum in Turkey, down from £1,125, departing Manchester on August 27 for 14 nights.

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