Madeira, Malta and Costa Brava – ‘retro’ breaks make return

Costa Brava holidays are being reinstated by Thomas Cook. PICTURE: CATE GILLON/GETTY IMAGES
Costa Brava holidays are being reinstated by Thomas Cook. PICTURE: CATE GILLON/GETTY IMAGES
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‘Retro’ holiday destinations are set to make a comeback in 2018, leading tour operator Thomas Cook has claimed.

Beach resorts such as Madeira, the Costa Brava and Malta are expected to attract a new generation of holidaymakers.

After reporting a fall in profits last week thanks to rising hotel prices, the weak pound, and intense competition, Thomas Cook is now promoting resorts that had fallen out of favour in recent years.

The Costa Brava in Spain was dropped by Thomas Cook in 2009, and Madeira in Portugal was dropped in 2015, but both are due to be reinstated.

Chris Mottershead, managing director at Thomas Cook UK, said: “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.”

The Costa Brava was a firm favourite with UK holidaymakers in the 1980s but its popularity dropped as accommodation became dated.

Thomas Cook believes the high number of top-class restaurants and Gaudi-inspired architecture will attract tourists to its new and refurbished hotels.

Madeira is returning to Thomas Cook brochures after inventing itself as a hotspot for younger visitors enjoying lively nightlife, while thrill-seekers can take part in activities such as mountain climbing and tobogganing.

Football fans are also going to Madeira as it is the birthplace of Cristiano Ronaldo and they can visit the Real Madrid star’s museum or stay at his CR7 hotel.

UK holidaymakers have been travelling to Malta for more than 40 years and it is becoming a destination for music lovers due to two annual festivals, I Love MTV and Annie Mac Presents.

It has also been used as a filming location for Game Of Thrones, which is expected to attract fans of the popular show.

Thomas Cook last week reported underlying earnings of £52 million for the UK division in the year to September 30, down from £86 million the previous year.