NewsSeptember 26, 2019

The Effect of Thomas Cook Collapse: From the local industry specialists view

The collapse of one of the world’s oldest travel agencies has impacted an estimated 600,000 travellers all over the world on Monday. Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed on Wednesday revealed that the Ministry, Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) and other relevant government institutions are working to mitigate the effect of travel agency Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy on Maldives’ tourism.

Our team at Travel Trade Maldives decided to ask local industry pioneers on their views about the collapse of Thomas Cook on the local industry.


“Thomas Cook was an instrumental company supporting the Maldives in the early days of our Tourism, it’s a shame to see such a legendary and familiar brand to go down. The good news for us is though: like other Summer Destinations like the Caribbean, Maldives doesn’t have dependency of Thomas Cook airlines to bring tourists into our country,  so those who have already booked holidays will potentially change their hotel booking with someone else or directly with resorts and still come,” said Director of International Sales & Distribution of TSMIC Nabeel Abdulla.

Muaviyath Umar, Executive Director from Villa Hotels & Resorts stated, “Well! It’s not only us, just like any other hotel chain in the Maldives. We also have a reasonable amount of business through Thomas Cook. It’s a long-time partner, a lot of hotels in the Maldives (around the world) have a partnership with Thomas Cook for many years. Especially from traditional markets like the UK and German. Hence, sure it is sad news for all tourism-related businesses around the globe. We are also having a difficult time to adjust and solve all the related issues. And it takes huge efforts to streamline the related issues and overcome the related impacts.” Ahmed Shaheen, Director of Sales & Marketing from Crown Champa Resorts, reiterated that it is a huge loss for them as well as to the Maldives Tourism industry as a whole.

Managing Director of Inner Maldives, Mohamed Firaq stated, “Thomas Cook is a historical partner for the Maldives whereby 6% of room occupancy is through them so there will be an effect for some time. For sure some are under contracts and for others, locations are selected but resorts may not release and sell it immediately as Winter is ahead. Thomas Cook has been in the Maldivian tourism industry since the beginning including the previous German tour operators as well as other worldwide companies based in the UK covering Europe, Germany, and France. So its a very big network and an immediate bankruptcy like this will affect the Maldives. Will see this by checking the occupancy of the resorts and their contracts.”

Another representative of an international hotel chain in the Maldives said, “this has been happening and this will happen in the future so the Maldivian operators and the local destination management (DMCs) should be supported. Local DMCs should be given a chance to create and construct sustainable opportunities. Local DMCs or local tour operators should be given overall protection by the government and should be encouraged to go out and market destination beyond for continued sustainability. Thomas Cook is a group the Maldives heavily dependant on since the beginning of the tourism industry but Thomas Cook is gone today. Local DMCs should be given support in a confined way that it works in both interests for hotels and the DMCs. At the moment we don’t have a regulatory body monitoring the activities but policies should be implemented and communicated with the DMCs along with the will power for them to move forward. This is a very classical example that we need our very own Thomas Cook!”