Thomas Cook plans to offload Olympics tickets at bargain prices

Thomas Cook plans to offload Olympics tickets at bargain pricesGetty


Holiday company Thomas Cook is expected to flog leftover Olympic tickets at bargain prices after their £6,500 corporate packages failed to sell.

The Daily Mail reports that the expensive package deals were designed to appeal to business clients with five-star hotels and gourmet dinners included in the price.

However, almost a quarter of the 300,000 tickets remain unsold - so the company now intends to sell the leftovers as part of no-frills deals, starting at £99.

The cheaper deals are likely to include accommodation in budget hotels, with no catering and no extras.

Sam Weihagen, interim chief executive of Thomas Cook, told the Daily Mail: "UK corporations are less interested in buying our Olympics packages. Maybe their profits are stretched or they think they shouldn't be buying these. We're transferring a lot of them to regular customers and there is huge demand."

Thomas Cook is one of the official tour operators for London 2012, and finance experts say that poor sales could cost them up to £10million.

The company is already struggling: it recently announced that it had lost £713million before tax in the six months up to March 31.

Click on the image below for a taste of some of the world's most expensive food...

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World's most expensive food
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Thomas Cook plans to offload Olympics tickets at bargain prices

Italian truffles are rated high by gourmet chefs all around but the white truffle is the most special variety originating in the Piedmont region of northern Italy and sold for £900 to £1,900 per pound. The truffles are collected by specially-trained dogs and pigs that pick up the unusual aroma with their sensitive noses. In 2007, casino owner Stanley Ho shelled out £230,000 for a white truffle from Tuscany weighing just 3.3 pounds. That’s one pricey fungus!

What's the most you've spent on dessert at a restaurant? We bet it wasn't £22,000 for a chocolatey treat like this one created by head chef Marc Guilbert at the Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel in Windermere, Cumbria. Guilbert made the world's most expensive dessert last year with ingredients including four different types of the finest Belgian chocolate and peach, orange and whisky flavours. It was styled like a Faberge egg and layered with champagne jelly and a light biscuit joconde. Edible gold leaf, a diamond from award-winning jeweller Wave Jewellery, handmade chocolate flowers and champagne and strawberry caviar were used to decorate the dessert. We think this definitely looks too good to eat!

As the world's most expensive spice, Iranian saffron can cost anything between £320 and £3,222 per pound! Why is it so pricey? It takes a huge amount of planting to extract a small amount from the purple-coloured saffron crocus flower - planting an area as big as a football pitch only gets around one pound of the spice. If that wasn't enough, the flowers need to be hand-picked in autumn to retain the aroma. Luckily just a tiny amount of the stuff goes a long way.

For $295 (£189) you can tuck into the mother of all hamburgers at the Serendipity 3 restaurant in New York. Le Burger Extravagant holds the Guinness World Record for the most expensive hamburger and contains Japanese Wagyu beef infused with 10-herb white truffle butter and cheddar cheese, which is hand-formed by famous cheesemaker James Montgomery in Somerset. It's topped with shaved black truffles, a fried quail egg and served on a white truffle-buttered Campagna roll with a blini on top, crème fraiche, Paramount Caviar Kaluga caviar and large pearls from the Huso Dauricus farm raised in Quzhou, China. It's topped off with a solid gold toothpick encrusted with diamonds and designed by renowned jeweller Euphoria New York. Now that's what we call a burger!

Produced in the city of Kobe in Hyogo, Japan, Kobe is the most renowned Japanese beef and is well-known for its marbled texture. The meat comes from the black Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle and is raised according to strict tradition making it a delicacy that costs between 3,150 yen (£25) and 16,800 yen (£137) per steak! In Japan, the only place where you'll find authentic Kobe beef, it is prepared in dishes like steak, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, sashimi and teppanyaki.

You wouldn't want to run out of change when buying this kebab after a night out as it comes with a £750 price tag. British chef Andy Bates, who created the world's most expensive doner kebab dubbed the 'don of all doners' last year crammed milk-fed lamb from the Pyrenees into the saffron flatbread. Chilli sauce using Scotch Bonnet chillies, mint and cucumber yoghurt infused with Krug Grande Cuvee champagne and an edible gold leaf garnish were also used. Andy told Rex Features that the doner was most likely to appeal to 'a high-class drunk on his way home.' We wonder if it comes with chips!

The Zasavica Special Nature Reserve in Serbia has 100 Balkan donkeys that give milk for cheese costing a huge €1,000 per kilo. The smoked cheese named Pule costs twice the amount of moose cheese, making it one of the most expensive in the world. There are no special ingredients in Pula and the price is based purely on the value of the milk. The delicacy isn't readily available either so if you fancy trying the cheese you’ll need to place an order in advance.

Last Christmas a luxurious mince pie worth a whopping £3,000 went on display at an East London shopping centre. The festive treat had a mix of traditional ingredients from recipes dating back to the 17th century, including the highest grade platinum leaf, holy water from Lourdes to bind the pastry and vanilla beans and cinnamon from eastern spice markets. It also contained ambergris sugar derived from sperm whale secretions and a solid platinum coin to keep with the British tradition of placing a silver coin in a Christmas dessert. The pricey mince pie took 10 days to make and featured a pastry top that was laser cut to give it an intricate finish.

Japanese Yubari melons are famous for their sweetness and hefty price tags that range between 1,000 and 10,000 yen (£8 to £80). The melons are only produced in Yubari city in Hokkaido under such strict quality standards that only a certain amount are grown each year making them so expensive. The melons have red flesh and at first were disliked by many people who called them pumpkin melons. They later became popular when they were given as a prize to MVP baseball players.

Omelettes are one of the cheapest dishes you can eat, right? Well at the restaurant Norma's at New York's Le Parker Meridien hotel egg lovers can shell out for the world's most expensive omelette, the Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata, which costs a whopping $1,000 - that's £650! The costly breakfast dish contains lobster and 10 ounces of severga caviar, which is the highest category of the delicacy from the Caspian Sea. There's a $100 (£65) sample available so you can taste the lavish dish without having to spend all of your holiday cash!

It seems that certain species of fungi are consistently worth their weight in gold and this heavy-weight of a mushroom is no different. This rare morsel grows in Japan, only in Autumn and, as yet, cannot be farmed, hence the impressive price tag. Apparently the japanese used to give Matsutakes as gifts, representing fertility, prosperity and happiness, so, if you're ever stuck for a birthday present for that person who has everything…

White truffles aren't the only truffles making an appearance on this list. This delectable morsel of chocolate heaven is created by chocolatier extraordinaire Fitz Knipschildt using a French Perigord truffle surrounded by handmade truffle oil and 70 per cent Valhrona ganache. It comes on a bed of silver pearls and weighs just over 50 grams - less than an average snickers bar...but 250 times more expensive!

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