• Thomas Cook Brand to be Re-Booted: The Shanghai-based Fosun Tourism Group that owns the Thomas Cook brand name is going to relaunch it in the near future—although the resuscitated company will have a reduced and more focused target market. Fosun, which had an 18 percent interest in Thomas Cook prior to the latter’s collapse last September 23rd, plans to use the UK tour operator’s brand on a travel platform targeting European customers.
Fosun Tourism Group, the Shanghai-based company that bought Thomas Cook’s trademark following its dramatic collapse on September 23rd, will debut the platform in the first half of next year, al Khaleej Today recently reported. Ultimately, it seems, Fosun Group’s new Thomas Cook will target travelers, especially those in Europe who are already familiar with the Thomas Cook name—to the company’s resorts around the world a source told the publication. One of Fosun’s properties is the resort group Club Med. Fosun was able to acquire the Thomas Cook trademark last month for about $14 million. The “new” Thomas Cook from Hong Kong is not to be confused with Thomas Cook India, which was acquired in 2012 by Fairfax Financial Holdings, which is based in Toronto, Canada, but which has connected interests in India.
• Chinese Travelers Are Diversifying, Trying New Destinations: According to the results of a recent survey by online travel giant Ctrip.com, Chinese tourists will travel to more overseas destinations during the Spring Festival holiday in 2020, which kicks off with the seven-day Chinese New Year celebration that begins on January 24.
The report, issued earlier this month, indicated that Chinese tourists have booked trips to 419 overseas cities in over 100 countries and regions during the seven-day holiday; both figures are new highs.
Warm weather has made Australia and New Zealand are among the most popular destinations, and trips to Italy, Britain, Spain, Russia, France and the United Arab Emirates are also bestsellers, according to the report. And 90 percent of Trip.com users have chosen high-quality travel products and services. Private travel groups with tour guides and flexible schedules have also been favored by tourists.
The fact that Chinese are willing to spend more money and time on traveling shows their growing incomes and higher living standards, said Peng Liang, a researcher with the tourist data research center of Trip.com Group. Chinese travelers made 6.3 million outbound trips during the Spring Festival holiday in 2019, up 12.48 percent year on year vs. 2018.
• What Happens as Museums Try to Chat with WeChat Users: After reviewing the just issued Jing Museum Index/Jing Travel WeChat Index for November 2019, one is inclined to conclude that some of the world’s major museums could do better in communicating their message to the billion-plus WeChat users who use the app to see and read what the museums are saying. Without having a flow chart readily available to compare data sets to those of other months, quarters and years, it is difficult to make sense of the index but, nonetheless, here it is.