Thomas Cook LGBT Holidays.

I noticed that this year Thomas Cook are headline sponsors of Manchester Pride.  It’s always great when companies sponsor major LGBT events like Pride, and so I’m really pleased to see Thomas Cook stepping up.

They also have a whole section on their website for LGBTQ and Gay holidays including a dedicated online brochure.

I must confess not to having been on a Thomas Cook holiday probably for the best part of over twenty years; I think the last one was probably as a teenager skiing in Austria or Switzerland during February half-term.

However, as this isn’t an info-mercial for Thomas Cook, so I decided to look into the detail a little.  Firstly, to my mind anyway, it’s a rather uninspiring set of “gay” destinations:

  • Ibiza
  • Mykonos
  • Gran Canaria
  • Mexico
  • Malta
  • New York City

That’s rather an odd list.  Mykonos and Gran Canaria I can understand, albeit both are a little clichéd.

If they’re looking at gay destinations, where’s Berlin?  Or Barcelona / Sitges?  Madrid?  Bangkok?  Sydney?

Clicking through to the Mexico holidays, they are all located around Cancun, however that’s not where the gay centre of Mexico is.  The main gay destination is around Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific coast where there are a plethora of gay bars, hotels, B&Bs and resorts.

The hotel selection for New York City was also pretty uninspiring.  There’s a few SPG properties, both Intercontinentals and some independent chain properties.

The suggested itinerary to the Westin Grand Central was in the middle of January.  Well, I’ve been to NYC at that time of year and it’s bloody freezing.  Not being a northerner like my fellow Ginger friend Phil, I’m sure that even he’d admit that at -15C with the wind howling down 5th Avenue, it’s not exactly the best place to go.

However from a pricing perspective, it’s not great either.  The holiday from Thomas Cook works out at £1,169 per person, or £2,338 in total (price on the left).

The centre price is for the same hotel room at the same hotel.  That comes to £1,140 and it of course sleeps two.  The flights, also with Thomas Cook, come to £738 for two adults.  A total of £1,878.  Let’s factor in maybe $50 (£40) round-trip on the Subway, AirTrain or LIRR and you’re still the best part of £400 ahead booking separately.  Even if you were to splurge and take an Uber Select, you’re still not going to spend that much.

I guess as with all of these promotions, shop around and check to see if it genuinely does offer value for money.

I think it’s great that Thomas Cook sees us as an important demographic to be worth spending money after, but it would be nice if they could do something a little bit interesting?  Or at least gay.  At present it seems as though they’re just trying to flog their regular holidays by taking a few photos of some hot guys and building a website with a few rainbow flags over it.  Surely it couldn’t be that simple?

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