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After the original business collapsed in September 2019, a few committed former employees were determined the legacy of Thomas Cook would find a new life.
Two months later, Fosun Tourism Group, the owners of Club Med, bought the Thomas Cook brand along with the inimitable Sunny Heart logo - a symbol of joy and happiness, and an important part of the business’ identity.
Those former employees created a new venture - one that embodies the essence of the man himself but brings it bang up to date with the latest technology.
Our website lets you package your own holiday. You go away when you want, for as long as you want. And with thousands of hotels to choose from and more flight routes and airlines than ever before, your well-deserved getaway can be whatever you want it to be.
You can contact us by phone or Live Chat every day, 12 hours a day - and if you’re on holiday, you can reach us 24/7. Chat to us about anything from ‘which hotels have swim-up pools?’ to ‘where should we go for the perfect honeymoon?’ You can even ask us to find your holiday for you.
And you can also tell us what you think of the new Thomas Cook. Let us know what you want to see on our site so that we can restore the brand to its rightful place as the most loved name in travel.
The original package holiday was a train journey from Leicester to Loughborough in 1841. There were 500 passengers on board that day. And for most of them, it was the first time they’d ever ridden a steam train.
People crowded the streets, filled the windows, and packed onto bridges enroute just to get a glimpse of the carriage as it hurtled along the tracks at breakneck speed. And when the train pulled into Loughborough, the intrepid travellers were greeted by a brass band and throngs of cheering crowds.
The trip was organised by Thomas Cook, who later wrote of the journey: “And thus was struck the keynote of my excursions, and the social idea grew upon me.”
The 22-mile package holiday cost a shilling and sixpence - about a day’s wages back then. But financially, there was nothing in it for Mr Cook. Although he organised repeat trips each summer for the next three years, he wouldn’t turn a profit until 1845.
This initial foray into tourism was a time of discovery. It proved that if travel was convenient and accessible, more people would, in Mr Cook's own words, “go beyond”. And “go beyond” they most certainly did.
For the next 33 years he shuttled tourists up, down and around the country. And then across the channel into Switzerland, Italy and France, introducing thousands of people to the Swiss Alps, the Colosseum and the joys of devouring a well-curated charcuterie. He later shipped travellers as far as Japan, India and the United States on a 222-day world tour he called 'China via Egypt'.
After Mr Cook’s retirement, the company was passed on from son to grandsons, and in 1928 it ceased to be a family business. From that point on, it changed hands five times, counting among its owners a Belgian train operator, a German bank and even the British government.
Like the man himself, Thomas Cook moved with the times. Mr Cook’s lifetime saw the rise of train travel and steamships. And he embraced both with enthusiasm. As time went on, the business traded rail journeys for motor car tours and steamers for flights, always finding new ways to help more people discover the world.
Thomas Cook was the pioneer of trouble-free travelling. He was also the inventor of convenient package holidays. And for us who work under his name in the new business, his life was a legacy we hope to live up to.