Old meets new as a 179-year-old tour operator brand begins a new life as an online travel agency.
The “old” Thomas Cook collapsed in September last year. A lot of its high street retail network was snapped up by Hays Travel, while China’s Fosun Tourism Group salvaged the rights to the bankrupt travel company’s brand for $14 million.
Now, not only is Thomas Cook restarting in the UK with the launch on Wednesday of thomascook.com without the burden of that large network of travel agencies, or an airline in tow, but it’s also declaring itself a “Covid-ready” travel company.
The biggest question, however, doesn’t really revolve around technology or destinations, it’s confidence. There will be some element of mistrust associated with Thomas Cook, which after all left a black hole of debt amounting to at least $12 billion.
This new-look Thomas Cook may be able to succeed in digitizing a once much-loved holiday brand, and it’s got little to lose with this relaunch, but a lot rests on whether the frustrations of this year’s lockdown will block out the memories of such a major event last summer.
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