TOUR operator Thomas Cook says “retro destinations” are making a comeback with holidaymakers.

The travel giant is expecting a spike in demand for breaks in Costa Brava, Madeira and Malta, which all used to be popular for bucket and spade trips.

It revealed a 40 per cent plunge in UK earnings last week but UK managing director Chris Mottershead believes its 2018 performance will be boosted by holidays to places which had fallen out of fashion.

He 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.”

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.

It was knocked by rising hotel prices, the weak pound and competition in the Spanish market.