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Retro resorts tipped for comeback

29 November 2017 08:46

Game of Thrones fans are among those flocking to Malta

Game of Thrones fans are among those flocking to Malta

A resurgence in "retro destinations" will bolster profits for the travel industry, tour operator Thomas Cook is predicting.

Destinations Costa Brava, Madeira and Malta, which have fallen out of favour in recent years, will once again grace travel brochure pages, attracting new breeds of travellers into fresh new hotels and revitalised resorts.

Reinforcing profits

As Thomas Cook reveals a 40% plunge in its UK revenues, the firm is expecting profits for 2018 to be bolstered with the comeback of former bucket-and-spade locales.

Chris Mottershead, UK managing director for Thomas Cook, says: "We've seen destinations move up and down the popularity stakes and next year we're predicting that Malta, Madeira and Costa Brava will catch the attention of holidaymakers who perhaps didn't think they ticked the right box for their needs.

"From Michelin star restaurants in Costa Brava to music festivals in Malta and outstanding natural beauty in Madeira, these retro destinations really will challenge holidaymakers' misconceptions."

Last week, the organisation reported underlying earnings for the British division of £52 million in the year to September 30, compared with £86 million the previous year.

Rising accommodation costs, sterling's poor performance and intense competition in the Spanish market are all said to be contributing factors.

Back in fashion

For the first time since 2009 Spain's Costa Brava will be appearing on the shiny pages of Thomas Cook brochures, with a push to enjoy its revised reputation for food and wine.

Dated accommodation has led the region to fall out of fashion since its 1980s hey-day, but popularity is once again increasing as new and refurbished hotels continue to pop up, and Gaudi-inspired architecture attracts a different crowd.

Madeira - a firm favourite with the older crowd - was dropped from the tour operator's offering in 2015 but will make its comeback on the pages of 2018's brochures.

Now, the Portuguese archipelago has reinvented itself as a hotspot for younger visitors, with a convivial nightlife and outdoor adventure activities to enjoy, including mountain climbing and tobogganing.

Annual music festivals, I Love MTV and Annie Mac Presents, are drawing British holidaymakers back to the island of Malta, and as a filming location for Game of Thrones, Malta's drawing in both music lovers and TV buffs.

Anyone planning a trip to Spain, Malta or Portugal can protect against the unexpected by taking out European travel insurance.