Tourism

Thomas Cook brand relaunches as online travel agency

The Chinese-owned Thomas Cook brand relaunched Wednesday as an online travel agency following the British group’s collapse last year.

“The new ‘Covid-ready’ travel company will initially sell holidays to destinations on the government’s safe travel corridor list,” said Thomas Cook, which is owned by Fosun Tourism Group.

“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,” said Fosun’s chairman and chief executive, Jim Qian.

“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,” he said.

Fosun, which also owns France-based resort giant Club Med, acquired the brand and online assets of Thomas Cook in November.

Thomas Cook’s demise one year ago sparked 22,000 job losses worldwide and triggered Britain’s biggest repatriation since World War II, with the government paying to fly home 140,000 stranded tourists.

The 178-year-old British company had declared bankruptcy after an attempt to secure $250 million from private investors fell through.

Thomas Cook’s stores across the UK had struggled against fierce online competition, while the company had blamed Brexit uncertainty for a drop in bookings before its collapse.

Agence France-Presse

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