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Why did Thomas Cook fail?

PUBLISHED: 09:52 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:52 24 September 2019

A general view of the Thomas Cook check-in desks in the South Terminal of Gatwick Airport.. Pic: Rick Findler/PA Wire

A general view of the Thomas Cook check-in desks in the South Terminal of Gatwick Airport.. Pic: Rick Findler/PA Wire

Tourism boss Chris Scargill - himself supposed to be going on a Thomas Cook holiday next week - has said the travel firm 'didn't move with the times.'

Chris Scargill. Pic: ArchantChris Scargill. Pic: Archant

Mr Scargill, a lead partner at Norwich accountancy firm Larking Gowen who heads up its tourism, leisure and hospitality team, had his own fortnight adventure package tour cancelled.

He was due to leave next Tuesday and although disappointed, is philosophical. But he said it was easy to see where the travel firm had gone wrong, with the kind of holidays it was offering so easy to book yourself using sites like booking.com and Airbnb.

"Thomas Cook haven't moved with the times," he said. "They were still European-focused, which is very accessible to us in terms of booking ourselves. They should have explored doing high end packages which aren't as easy for people to plan.

MORE: 'It was like a hostage situation' says holidaymaker after she was locked into hotel in Tunisia

"So we do need package holidays still, but they were racing to the bottom - offering very competitively priced holidays on a 'stack it high, sell it cheap' model instead of offering packages for a proper price.

"Then you've got the political uncertainty, the fact we've had two good years of summer weather in the UK which has seen the rise of the staycation. Also, we are all time-poor, so we are looking to take two or three days away rather than 10 to 14. There's been a rise in micro-breaks."

John Potter, owner of the Norfolk Potters resort, said on LinkedIn today: "Spare a thought for all the people at Thomas Cook - hard working lovely people with a very proud history - defeated only by the changing times. And a sobering reminder that NO business has EVER withstood the test of time."

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