Thomas Cook China now Fully Operational: Launched a year ago, Thomas Cook China—the company that is 51 percent-owned by Fosun and 49 percent by Thomas Cook—is now a fully operational business with around a hundred employees across two offices, in Shanghai and Beijing. For inbound operation, the company takes tourists from European source markets to China, and provides both leisure and MICE services in China. On the outbound sector, Thomas Cook China concentrates on the leisure market, organizing short- and long-haul travel for Chinese holidaymakers.
Thomas Cook China managing director Alessandro Dassi said in an interview that the company will have servedd 20,000 customers since its launch by the end of September and that, “Over the next 12 months, we plan to grow this number by more than ten times.”
“We have now a strong infrastructure platform on which we can build and scale up the business,” he added. Our focus at the moment is to increase the volume and customer base for the company.”
Thomas Cook China offers mainly three types of outbound packages: hotel packages to short-haul destinations in Southeast Asia countries such as Thailand, long-haul worldwide itineraries, and sports packages with tickets to football games and other sports activities.
Tui Swallows Thomson: Tui began in earnest last week its campaign to fold the tour operator Thomson into the Tui brand. It began with a TV advertisement during ITV’s X Factor program, showing a man diving into water with the message: “Thomson is changing to TUI.” Other variations of this ad will be shown on long-haul flights, national television, the sides of buses and online.
The move is the latest in a “single brand” strategy that was adopted after Tui Travel, Europe’s largest travel company, merged with parent company Tui AG in December 2014. Since then, Tui has sold off or re-named some national brands, its bedbank Hotelbeds and, earlier this year, its collection of 50 specialist travel brands that make up Travelopia.
Following the integration of Thomson into the Tui brand, the only business left to be merged into the Tui brand, is First Choice. Based on what Tui’s leadership has said in the past, that should take place sometime next year. Thomson was founded in 1965 by Roy Thomson, a Canadian newspaper and media entrepreneur whose holdings included the Times of London.