British travel giant Thomas Cook discussed its business strategies for summer tourist destinations at its 'Destination Management Conference' at the Palacio de Congresos conference centre in Torremolinos this week.
In a boost for the Costa del Sol's image, Torremolinos was chosen to host the annual event which was attended by more than 250 executives from 50 countries. Peter Frankhauser, company chief executive, led the two-day meeting and set out to brief staff on current social and political factors affecting the tourism market and to anticipate operational issues that may occur from now until the end of the summer.
Spain is Thomas Cook's most popular destination, with the company expecting to look after a similar number this summer to the 4.5 million tourists who travelled to the country last year on its packages.
Support from the mayor
The conference was opened by the mayor of Torremolinos, José Ortiz, who was keen to highlight the strong historical links that the company, as "pioneer of tourism", has with the Costa town.
Ortiz also emphasised the importance of public and private partnerships and a strong relationship between all travel agents as key to seeing Torremolinos become "a leading tourism product".
The mayor also reminded those present of the 100 million euros invested by the local hotel industry in the last two years in the town, which has been "one of the biggest renovation and modernisation programmes seen on the Costa del Sol in decades". Some 20 per cent of the 21,000 rooms in the municipality are expected to have been modernised.
Thomas Cook plans to increase flights to the Spanish mainland this summer, in addition to its increased programme to the islands. Extra flights have been scheduled to Malaga and Almeria airports among others.
The mayor took advantage of the occasion to invite the directors, managers and executives of the company to discover for themselves the many attractions that are on offer in Torremolinos, which is aiming beyond the traditional image of sun and beaches in order to turn itself into a new global, multi-experience destination.