BRITAIN’S oldest travel company failed to move with the times.
When budget airlines like Ryanair offer flights across Europe for as little as £15 and it’s possible to stay in a local’s fully furnished apartment thanks to sites like Airbnb, Thomas Cook just couldn’t compete.
Clean but bland hotels, a little extra legroom and the convenience of airport transfers were not enough to attract the thousands of people who now prefer to book holidays online, rather than pop into their local travel agents.
Poor business decisions didn’t help. Merging with struggling competitor MyTravel in 2011, when the number of people opting for package holidays was already dwindling, didn’t pay off.
Those who have hit out at company bosses’ £50 million bonuses over the last decade are right to do so on the grounds of competence.
But it’s unlikely withholding them would have made a difference to the much-loved travel agent’s fate.
People’s holiday habits have changed for good and it’s up to travel firms to follow suit.