Thomas Cook is back despite tourism crisis

Thomas Cook is back despite tourism crisis

Following its collapse a year ago, Thomas Cook has relaunched as an online-only travel company.

The holiday-maker ceased trading last year after it collapsed and left 150,000 holidaymakers stranded in holiday destinations.

Despite the tourism crisis amid the Coronavirus pandemic, Thomas Cook is back with a  “Covid-ready” website, which sells holidays to beach resorts and cities on the UK government’s travel corridor list. 

Whilst international holidays have fallen by 65% in the first half of 2020, the group’s chief executive remains positive about the future of the company.

“We are launching now clearly aware of the short-term challenges posed by the pandemic,” said Alan French.

“We know Brits are keen to travel but feel nervous about safety and any changes to government rules on quarantine. We are only selling destinations on the travel corridor list and all the hotels are flexible. We won’t charge customers a fee to change their holidays if government rules change,” he added.

The group is now backed by Fosun Tourism Group, which also owns Club Med.

Thomas Cook previously had 9,000 employees, however, operations have scaled back and the new company has just 50 employees.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? travel, has warned customers about booking holidays at this time – even if companies are offering flexible tickets.

“While some previous Thomas Cook customers may be pleased to see it relaunching as an online travel agent, the events of the past few months should act as a reminder that just because a brand is a household name it does not mean you can necessarily rely on it to treat you fairly,” he said.

“While package holidays booked through Thomas Cook would be Atol protected, many of the big online travel agents have proven time and time again through the pandemic they aren’t able to offer the same level of protection or customer service as better, traditional tour operators, making it difficult to secure refunds that customers are legally owed for cancelled holidays,” he added.