Brand returns following acquisition by Fosun Tourism Group.
Thomas Cook relaunches today as an online-only travel business following the acquisition of one of the best-known names in travel by international leisure company Fosun Tourism Group.
The new ‘Covid-ready’ travel company will initially sell holidays to destinations on the Government’s safe travel corridor list.
Licensed by the CAA and Atol-protected, the new Thomas Cook will launch as a purely online business via a new website thomascook.com, offering customers thousands of hotels and flight routes so they can design their own holidays.
At launch, holidays will be available in popular beach destinations and cities in countries including Italy, Greece and Turkey, in line with the current travel corridors. Customers will be able to choose from room-only to all-inclusive options, across three, four and five-star hotels.
The new website puts customers in control of their own holiday, with the ability to design their trip according to their budget, needs and specifications. Add-ons will include transfers, car hire, airport parking, currency and travel insurance.
Over the coming months, Thomas Cook will continue to invest in its digital offering to adapt to changing holiday needs and lifestyles, including adding new flight partners and other travel options, as well as additional hotels and other types of accommodation. Further destinations will be added when Government restrictions are lifted.
Fosun Tourism Group – one of the world’s largest leisure companies which also owns Club Med – acquired the brand and online assets of Thomas Cook in November last year. The new company will retain the brand’s familiar ‘Sunny Heart’ logo.
Alan French, Thomas Cook’s UK CEO, said: “We have reinvented one of the most recognisable names in British travel. Our new business will combine fantastic UK based customer service with an updated operating model protected by Atol and with the backing of a multi-billion-dollar organisation.
“We are launching now clearly aware of the short-term challenges posed by the pandemic. We and our Fosun backers are taking the long view and we want to offer choice, customisation, and 24/7 on-holiday customer care to families who wish to travel now and in the future.
“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 also won’t charge customers a fee to change their holidays if government rules change.
“Our passion is travel and we’re focussed on providing great hotels at destinations holidaymakers love, so our customers can design their own break, all at great prices. With flexibility, 24/7 on-holiday care and Atol protection, customers can book a Thomas Cook holiday with confidence.
“We will offer customers choice and a better booking experience. Our website is designed to be fast and simple to use and our priority is to ensure customers can book their holiday with absolute confidence. Thanks to new ownership and a new robust financial structure, customers can be reassured their money is protected.
“We will use a trust model to ring-fence customers’ payments, meaning Thomas Cook only receives customers’ money once they’ve returned from holiday.”
Jim Qian, Chairman and CEO of Fosun Tourism Group, said: “Thomas Cook has a proud heritage and after acquiring the brand last year we wanted to quickly return it to its home in the UK. Supporting the growth of the brand in China and its relaunch in the UK is a big step in our plan to turn Thomas Cook into a global success story and a key milestone in the development of the Fosun Tourism Group’s strategy. ”
Alan French added: “Re-launching Thomas Cook as a business designed for today’s holidaymaker is an honour. What happened last year was a tragedy at a personal level for many thousands of my former colleagues, our business partners and of course our loyal customers.
“The resilience and affection still felt for the Thomas Cook brand reflects the huge commitment and professionalism of those former colleagues. We are very much in their debt and hope to have their backing as we look to take the brand into a new era.”
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.