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?
Founder | CEO | Futurist
As far as we know, the new Thomas Cook will not be an OTA in the classic sense of the term, at least not in Europe. Over here, in fact, TC will pull inventory from a few bedbanks (namely: HotelBeds, Webbeds, and Yalago), while it will build its own inventory in Asia.
Even according to the words of Fosun Tourism Group's CEO, Jim Qian, it seems that there will be two, quite distinct versions of the company. "In China," he stated, "Thomas Cook has been relaunched as MORE than just an online travel agency." Qian plans to launch some very peculiar bricks-and-mortar stores as well, even though on a small scale and, presumably, only in China.
Now, will this mixed approach work? My two cents is that it won't, at least not outside China. TC will likely become a local player à-la-Trip.com, while it will be cannibalized by the "usual suspects" over here in Europe.
But I wish them luck; it would be a shame to see a brand with such a long history disappear for good.