Holiday blues for Thomas Cook
Archimedes: November 2011
Holiday cash blues for Thomas Cook.
Holiday tour operator Thomas Cook has sought to calm fears of concerned customers who have booked holidays in the Greek Islands that their bookings are safe.
It comes after the holiday travel firm reached agreement with its bankers to bail it out with a £200m loans package.
Shares in the holiday tour operators plunged last week after it said it was in emergency talks about increasing borrowings.
The news caused some alarm in the Greek Islands tourist sector, which is a major destination for Thomas Cook.
Around 500,000 tourists book hoidays to the Greek Islands each year through Thomas Cook, mostly from Britain, Germany and Scandinavia.
Thomas Cook blames weak consumer confidence over political unrest in Egypt and Tunisia and the recent floods in Thailand for a drop in sales.
But city analysts have shown concern at management at Thomas Cook which is to shed up to 1,000 jobs and close around 200 UK travel shops as it battles to cut its £1bn debt.
A buying spree in the past few years, including the purchase of Co-op Travel, has not produced the returns it promised.
A recent revamp of the Thomas Cook holiday website does not appear to have helped. Those searching for Greek Island holidays on Skopelos, for example, will need to know that the island is in the Thessaly region or they will struggle to find it at all.
Only the Ionian island group is mentioned by name. Others such as Cyclades, Dodecanese and Sporades do not even figure in the new menu system.
Those looking for holidays in Halkidiki will need a knowledge of Greek political geography as the popular area is lumped under Central Macedonia.
Add that the Crete resort of Stalis is wrongly placed on the island of Kefalonia and that all the resorts marked as in Ithaca are actually on Kefalonia and you may wonder just what Thomas Cook is up to.