Thomas Cook is to open 20 own-brand hotels between now and the end the next year.
The hotels will include six in Spain, four in Greece and three in Turkey.
The move – which comes as Thomas Cook drops nine existing hotels which do not meet its quality standards – will see the company open its first Casa Cook in Spain, its biggest market, and the first family Casa Cook.
The breakdown of the new own-brand hotels is as follows: two Casa Cook’s; seven Cook’s Club hotels; six Sentido properties; four SunConnect hotels and one Sunprime property.
The new openings will take Thomas Cook’s portfolio to 200 hotels with around 40,000 rooms, making it one of the largest hotel groups worldwide. They include three more managed hotels, taking the total to 24.
The expansion forms part of Thomas Cook’s aim to deliver sustainable, profitable growth through a portfolio of own-brand properties that have higher customer satisfaction levels, more repeat guests and deliver higher margins than the company’s broader range of hotels.
The 189-room Casa Cook Ibiza opens next summer and is one of the key assets of Thomas Cook Hotel Investments, the fund the company launched earlier this year with hotel development company LMEY. The hotel will be managed by Cook and it is anticipated 75% of guests will be new to the company, following the success of the first two Casa Cook openings.
The second Casa Cook to open next summer will be the first property for families. The 106-room hotel in Chania, Crete, originally due to open this summer, takes an alternative approach to the traditional kids club, according to Cook. Its focus is on learning through play, art and local culture.
Following on from the success of the first Cook’s Club hotel in Crete this summer, the seven new Cook’s Club hotels will include a managed hotel in Palma Beach, Majorca, currently one of the company’s Smartline hotels, as well as two franchised hotels in Turkey, a further two in Greece and another in Italy. There will also be a Cook’s Club in Gambia for winter 2019.
The company expects to confirm three more Cook’s Club properties in Bulgaria, Egypt and Greece in the near future.
Six of the newly announced properties for next year will be under Thomas Cook’s largest own-brand of hotel, Sentido. This will take the total number of Sentido hotels to 70.
The new Sentido hotels include a 184-hotel in Majorca, which will be refurbished and will sit within Thomas Cook Hotel Investments.
Four of next summer’s new hotels will be under the SunConnect brand, Thomas Cook’s other family-focused brand, taking the total to 20 across Europe and north Africa. The company said it has put ‘significant’ investment in the brand in terms of quality, training and support in the last couple of years, which has led to an increase of more than three points in its Net Promoter Score in two years.
Meanwhile, a 120 room Sunprime hotel called Tamala Beach is also due to open in The Gambia in winter 2019.
Thomas Cook’s Hotels & Resorts boss Enric Noguer said: “Expanding our own-brand hotel portfolio is central to the success of the whole business. Operating and overseeing a group of well-managed and high-quality hotels that our customers recognise and turn to for the better service and reliability they experience is an important part of our strategy as a group.
“These latest announcements demonstrate further progress in developing our Hotels and Resorts division into a hotel company within Thomas Cook, working with strong partners and focused around hotel management, franchising, and sales and distribution.
“Next year we will add three more managed hotels taking our total to 24 hotels as we accelerate our ambitions to take on more management contracts for hotels around the Mediterranean.”
Separately, Aldiana, the club resort Thomas Cook now owns 42% of following an investment last year, will also open a club in Ampflwang, Austria, as well as a new-build resort in Calabria.
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