Is there future for the “new” Thomas Cook?
— 9 experts shared their view
The "old" Thomas Cook, a 179-year-old company and the second largest tour operator in the world after TUI, collapsed in September of 2019. Fosun Tourism Group, a Chinese travel conglomerate that already owned the famed Club Med, bought the rights to the bankrupt company's brand for $14 million.
Now, a year later Fosun has resurrected the Thomas Cook brand as an online travel agency thomascook.com, selling directly to the public packaged beach holidays in destinations like Spain, Turkey, Greece, Croatia, USA, etc. and city breaks in Rome, Paris, Madrid, New York, etc.
The question is: Is there future for the "new" Thomas Cook?
As expected, Fosun is trying to capitalize on the name and relative "fame" of the Thomas Cook brand to milk out as much value as possible from the acquisition. However, simply jumping on the OTA's model without much differentiation from other actors could mean trouble for the "old" newcomer.
Paradoxically, by playing it safe, it feels like Thomas Cook entered a fight it cannot win. Unless Fosun is willing to dump millions in marketing to make up for lost time, Booking and Expedia are likely to make short work of yet another small online competitor (however renowned its name might be).