Thomas Cook dinner relaunches as a web based journey agent – The Guardian

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Thomas Cook dinner has resurrected as an online-only journey firm, precisely one yr after the 178-year-old firm went out of enterprise, stranding 150,000 vacationers abroad.

The revival comes because the journey trade faces the worst tourism disaster for the reason that data started. Figures from the World Tourism Group present that worldwide vacationer journey fell 65% within the first half of the yr, an unprecedented drop. However British chief government of Thomas Cook dinner, Alan French, mentioned the corporate was contemplating a "long-term view."

The brand new 'Covid-ready' web site will initially promote holidays to resorts and cities in international locations on the UK authorities's listing of journey corridors, together with Turkey, Italy and components of Greece. Extra locations will likely be added when authorities restrictions are lifted, together with extra accommodations and different kinds of lodging.

"We are actually clearly conscious of the short-term challenges posed by the pandemic," French mentioned. “We all know the British are desirous to journey, however we’re involved about security and any modifications in authorities quarantine guidelines. We solely promote locations on the journey hall listing and all accommodations are versatile. We won’t cost clients a price to vary their holidays if authorities guidelines change. "

The web site affords tens of 1000’s of accommodations, in addition to flights, transfers and different add-ons, permitting clients to customise their journeys, which will likely be protected by Atol, the managed monetary safety system. by the federal government and managed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The relaunch is backed by Fosun Tourism Group, the Chinese language conglomerate that purchased the Thomas Cook dinner model and on-line property for £ 11million in November. Fosun can be the proprietor of Membership Med.

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The Thomas Cook dinner Group, which operated 560 branches on predominant streets within the UK and a fleet of airplanes in addition to its tourism enterprise, employed 9,000 individuals within the UK. The brand new firm employs 50 individuals, who will work remotely.

The location presently solely sells single-destination air journey, however a spokesperson mentioned hop-on hop-off journey and different transportation choices resembling practice and ferry are 'on the go. examine".

A spokesperson for the brand new, smaller firm mentioned, “We received't have these devoted buses and reps with clipboards across the pool. However we expect individuals need to design their very own holidays now. "

The brand new firm hopes to promote holidays to as much as 50,000 passengers per yr.

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Rory Boland, editor-in-chief of Which? journey, has warned shoppers to watch out when reserving holidays, with some trip suppliers failing to fulfill their authorized obligation to reimburse visitors for cancellations in current months. .

“Whereas some earlier Thomas Cook dinner clients could also be delighted to see her restart as a web based journey agent, the occasions of the previous few months ought to remind you that it's not as a result of she is a web based journey agent. model is a family title which you can essentially rely on to deal with you pretty, ”he says.

'Whereas bundle holidays booked by Thomas Cook dinner could be protected by Atol, many main on-line journey brokers have confirmed time and time once more throughout the pandemic that they don’t seem to be in in a position to supply the identical degree of buyer safety or service as the very best conventional tour operators. , which makes it tough to get the refunds that clients are legally owed for canceled holidays. "

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In the meantime, a gaggle of former Thomas Cook dinner employees are set to launch a separate tourism enterprise referred to as Sunny Coronary heart Journey, promoting resorts, cruises and excursions from its Peterborough base .

This text was final modified on September 22, 2020. An earlier model incorrectly mentioned that Atol safety was much less safe in current months. The meant reference was to not Atol safety, however to vacation suppliers who failed to fulfill the obligations set out within the Package deal Journey Regulations.

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