|Oldest European Tour Operator to introduce Belgium – Ohrid Flights|
|Saturday, 05 September 2015|
Thomas Cook Group, one of the largest and oldest tour operators in Europe, starts operations in Macedonia officially as of next year. The travel company will organize charter flights from Belgium to Ohrid and promote accommodations in Ohrid, Deputy PM for economic affairs Vladimir Pesevski and the director of the Agency for Promotion of Tourism, Kristijan Dzambazovski announced Friday at a press conference.
Contracts with hoteliers in Macedonia, 16 in total, have been already signed and are set to be available online on Thomas Cook’s website for booking.
Even though details involving flights and arrangements in general will be defined in a later stage, it is certain that that there will be at least one charter flight per week, said Pesevski adding that if need be, the number of flights would be increased.
The signing of these contracts contributes to improving the foreign tourism turnover in the country with hotels and other establishments providing accommodations feeling the benefits. The influx of finances from foreign tourists is set to additionally stimulate first and foremost the local economy and the state economy as well,” the Macedonian Deputy PM stated after a meeting with Felix Hortolani, Contracting Manager at Thomas Cook.
According to him, both the government and the agency have dedicated a lot of time and effort to attract the Thomas Cook company in Macedonia. “We were in touch with its representatives for some time, Macedonia’s potential was presented to them as an undiscovered destination as well as the conditions offered by the government to subsidize tourism and invest in marketing strategies,” Pesevski noted.
Thomas Cook will put Macedonia on its European map of tourism network next year, but in the meantime negotiations are under way with other international tour operators, Kristijan Dzambazovski underlined.
The government is striving to make Macedonia a developed tourist destination. Statistics show that in the past nine years the number of foreign visitors has spiked by over 100%,” the director of the tourism agency stated.
Over 206,000 foreign tourists visited Macedonia in the first half of 2015, which is an increase of 11.6% compared to the same period last year. Also, the number of tourists from Belgium has risen by a promising 42%.
Founded in 1841, Thomas Cook serves more than 22 million clients with a reported nine million pounds in sales of its arrangements.