We all mourn the demise of the 180 year old travel company Thomas Cook who set the bar very high to become the king of tour operators from airplane to hotel, a first class service that other travel operators tried to mimic.
Thomas Cook will be a loss to thousands of customers who knew that booking their services would not be surpassed.
The repercussions of this loss will no doubt echo through the Balearics for years to come, this loss will lead to many job losses and business failures amongst suppliers.
The island’s business model has been to reduce the number of tourists and to seek quality with higher returns and not quantity.
There is no doubt that the loss of Thomas Cook’s customers to the Balearics in October will hit many hotels hard along with Neckermann Reisen, Bucher Last Minute, Öger Tours and Air Marin the German arm leading to a potential loss of 30,000 tourists in October alone.
Other tour operators will step in to take up the spare capacity but cannot provide the service as some of these like TUI and First Choice sold Thomas Cook holidays and flights.
The goose that laid the golden egg for the Balearics has failed and now the Balearics must push the reset button from the tourist minister to hoteliers and seriously look at how the current business model has failed the islands.
The story for many Hoteliers will be not to put your eggs in one basket, for others by being served by a number of tour operators has limited the damage.
There is no doubt that the Balearics needs tourism, tourists who have had their holidays or lost their holidays, to them, the loss of Thomas Cook their holidays in the Balearics will never be the same again.
Thomas Cook delivered 15% of the island’s tourists. Will other tour operators be so keen to push the Balearic islands or other locations where the financial returns offered may be greater?
For 2020 the islands now have a potential loss of 15%, this figure was almost guaranteed by Thomas Cook, the islands have in 2019 had a bad year and this loss is just another fatal blow to the islands.
Pricing is a key factor, other resorts have come online offering the same package but cheaper, the tourist tax has discouraged tourists adding to the holiday costs particularly where a large family’s budget may be stretched, the tax may only be paid by a single family earner.
The business model of higher prices, fewer tourists and the tourist tax has failed the islands, in a competitive market the islands need to compete and the prime factor is price.