Thomas Cook, the UK’s oldest tour operator, could be making a return to the travel industry a year after the company folded.
The owners of Club Med and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Chinese conglomerate Fosun, saved the brand from completely vanishing after it went under in September last year.
According to some reports it looks like Fosun could be bringing back Thomas Cook as a travel agent.
Sky News has reported that Fosun is awaiting necessary regulatory approvals and for any quarantine updates on British citizens.
Thomas Cook looks set to relaunch as just an online travel agent and will be dropping the Thomas Cook airline, high street shops and branded hotels previously operated by the company.
The relaunch is reportedly set to go ahead this month, exactly a year after the company collapsed.
The firm filed for administration on September 23rd last year. The news left 150,000 UK holidaymakers stuck abroad and caused the biggest peacetime repatriation of Britons abroad, totalling to an estimated cost of £150m.
The 178-year-old firm was bailed out by Fosun. Chairman Jiannong said: “The group has always believed in the brand value of Thomas Cook.
“The acquisition of the Thomas Cook brand will enable the group to expand its tourism business building on the extensive brand awareness of Thomas Cook and the robust growth momentum of Chinese outbound tourism.”
He added: “Following the acquisition, the group will focus on business expansion, using the newly acquired Thomas Cook brands to create synergies with the existing businesses of the group.”
The Chinese firm bought the assets including the trademarks, domain names, software applications, social media accounts and licences. However, 555 stores were sold for just £6m to rival Hays Travel.
UK holidaymakers face extra charge when travelling to Europe next year
The electronic travel authorisation system is for visitors from countries that are not part of the EU
UK holidaymakers will have to pay a fee when they enter Europe on their travels next year, as post-Brexit rules come into force.
From next year, Brits will need to obtain a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) visa waiver to visit popular holiday destinations, including Spain, France, Italy and Greece.
The system will check the security credentials and charge a fee to travellers visiting EU member countries for business, tourism, medical or transit purposes.
Brits will have to complete an application form and pay a fee of seven euros – which works out at around six pounds.
So far, 30 European countries have been confirmed as requiring ETIAS travel authorisation next year.
Although the EU has not confirmed an exact date for when the ETIAS comes into force, guidance does say it will be ‘operational in 2024’ – pushed back from the original 2020.
The ETIAS travel authorisation is then valid for three years, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
Travellers will be able to travel to and from the countries whenever they wish, providing the overall limit of the authorised stay is complied with.
According to EU guidance, most applications will be processed within minutes, but could take up to 96 hours.
However, some applications may take longer if additional documents are required, and travellers are advised to not purchase any tickets or book accommodation until they have the ETIAS.
It’s best to apply for one as soon as you start planning your holiday (although applications aren’t open just yet).
To apply for the ETIAS you’ll need to provide your personal details, as well as travel document information and details of any past criminal convictions.
You will also need to state the first country you intend to visit. However, once you’ve received the ETIAS you’ll be able to visit any of the 30 countries it covers, whenever you like.
The 30 European countries where visa-exempt travellers require an ETIAS travel authorisation are:
- Czech Republic
The exact date of when ETIAS will come into force is yet to be announced. Visit the ETIAS website for more information by clicking HERE.
The best city breaks for under £150 from Manchester Airport this September
Fancy a cheap city break this September?
If you’re looking to getaway on a bargain city break next month, flights are going for as little as £150 from Manchester Airport.
It’s almost September and the kids will be going back to school, which means holiday destinations will be a little more peaceful and you can enjoy a nice adults only getaway.
With that in mind, you’d be forgiven for thinking Manchester Airport would suddenly become a lot quieter in September – but actually the month is traditionally one of the busiest of the year for holidays.
Millions of passengers are set to pass through the airport, as those without school-age children look to take advantage of cheaper deals on flights and hotels outside the summer peak, while temperatures in many holiday hotspots still remain warm.
Manchester Airport will be busy connecting the people of the North to more of the region’s most popular destinations than any other airport outside London, around 200 in total.
These include everything from city-break favourites like Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam and more as well as late summer sun spots like Athens, Istanbul and Malaga.
Travellers who are simply looking to navigate the cost-of-living crisis can also bag themselves a bargain deal on flights to some hidden gems.
If you’re looking for a city break at a reasonable price, then check out these 12 destinations you can fly to directly from Manchester for under £150 this September.
(Served directly by Ryanair)
This historic city in central Italy is nestled in the foothills of the Apennine mountains, and its medieval city centre’s Two Towers, both leaning, are taller than their more famous counterpart in Pisa. The surrounding Emilia-Romagna region is the home of culinary delights such as Modena balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese and Parma ham.
(Served directly by Jet2.com and Ryanair)
This German city’s medieval walls and Old Town are remarkably preserved and its unique architecture has made it one of Germany’s most popular destinations for a short break. Its cathedral, which towers over the city centre, is one of the largest in the world.
(Served directly by easyJet, Norwegian, Ryanair and SAS Scandinavian Airlines)
Denmark’s capital is one of the fastest-growing city break destinations in Europe with over 146,000 visitors from Manchester alone last year.
Its harbour front is tightly packed with multi-coloured townhouses, and its Christianshavn district is inspired by the canals and architecture of Amsterdam.
(Served directly year-round by easyJet and Ethiopian Airlines; seasonally by Jet2.com and TUI Airways)
Geneva is located in south-west Switzerland, bordered by Lake Geneva and the Alps. Its biggest claim to fame is as the UN’s headquarters, but its Musée d’Art et d’Histoire hosts one of Europe’s most extensive collections of fine art and foodies will love sampling a wide range of Swiss cuisines.
(Served directly by easyJet, Ryanair and TAP Air Portugal)
A prime spot to catch the last of the summer sun, Lisbon sits on Portugal’s Atlantic coast and is flanked by miles of sandy beaches, backed by a promenade dotted with bars and cafes. Saint George’s Castle sits on a hilltop overlooking the city.
(Served directly by Ryanair)
Often overlooked in favour of glitzier neighbours like Nice, Cannes and St Tropez, Marseille is France’s second-largest city and offers a bit of everything, from arts and architecture to world-class restaurants and a buzzing nightlife scene.
The nearby Calanques National Park boats idyllic sandy beaches lining cavernous, fjord-like valleys, and makes for a great day trip.
(Served directly by Norwegian and SAS Scandinavian Airlines)
Founded by Vikings over 1,000 years ago, Norway’s capital Oslo is one of Europe’s most northerly major cities but temperatures are still fairly mild in September, often topping 20C.
Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream is housed in Oslo’s National Gallery and Munch Museum.
(Served directly by Ryanair)
Poznan, in western Poland, is an old provincial capital. Lech, one of Poland’s major beer brands, is headquartered here and sponsors the city’s successful football team, but Poznan also has a vibrant craft beer scene with dozens of independent brewers.
It’s also famed for its pastries – visitors should try a St Martin’s Croissant, packed with poppy seeds, nuts and dried fruits.
(Served directly by Ryanair)
This Baltic Sea destination is famous for its budget-friendly nightlife but offers much more besides. Its medieval heart is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is also one of Europe’s greenest cities, with lots of places to escape the crowds.
Temperatures in September may even be warm enough for a visit one of Riga’s sandy beaches.
(Served directly by Ryanair)
Another hotspot for September sunshine, Valencia backs onto the Mediterranean with miles of beaches within walking distance of the city centre.
If you fancy trying something a little more unusual, Valencia is world-famous for its oranges, and has a burgeoning agri-tourism scene. Many local orange orchards offer tours and stays.
(Served directly year-round by Ryanair and TUI Airways; seasonally by Jet2.com)
The setting for not one, but two Shakespeare plays, one of Verona’s most popular sights is Juliet’s Balcony, affixed to a small townhouse overlooking a square. Its enormous Roman-era Arena is well-preserved and today regularly hosts opera performances.
(Served directly year-round by Austrian Airlines and Ryanair; seasonally by Jet2.com)
Vienna is one of Europe’s cultural capitals and you can find out more about one of its most influential figures at the Mozart Haus Vienna, housed in a former apartment building where the composer lived for three years at the height of his success.
Vienna is also renowned for cakes and biscuits and is home to dozens of independent patisseries.
*Prices may be subject to change.
You can rent an entire pub from £17pp per night and stay over with your mates
What a great idea
Some pubs can be rented out for families and friends to stay over for as little as £17 per person, per night.
Pubs located in the Peak District, Shropshire, Herefordshire and beyond can now be used as the perfect little getaway.
If you and your mates love a cosy pub to unwind and enjoy a few tipples while having a game of pool, or just having somewhere to get together and enjoy the banter, this could make the perfect stay.
From birthday celebrations to many other kinds of get-togethers, why bother meeting up at the local boozer where you have to queue at the bar, find somewhere to sit or stand, and talk over the background noise, when you can have the place all to yourself with your favourite people?
Not only do these great holiday lets feature all the best bits of a well loved boozer, including pub grub, pool tables and actual bars, two of the best are just over an hour away from Manchester.
Gathering all your best people together in one place could also be a cost-effective way to take a break. Starting from as little as £17 per person, per night, you could enjoy a seven-night stay at a pub for less than the cost of a meal out.
Poachers Arms, Peak District
Set in the village of Hope in the Hope Valley Derbyshire, this pub is right at the heart of the Peak District.
Located in spacious grounds with ample off road parking for 25 cars this beautiful house provides a wonderful base for family celebrations and holidays.
Guests can settle down for a pint or two with a pre-ordered keg of cider and beer, starting their getaway off the right way as they pull themselves a pint or two.
There is also a games area with a selection of table games and books, table football and a Smart TV and games console to help occupy the younger members of the party, whilst the fibre broadband will ensure a good connection for guests.
Outside is a large enclosed and safe gravelled area with a paved patio and covered hot tub, a charcoal barbecue and plenty of outdoor seating for groups to relax and drink in the fresh air whilst planning what to see or where to go next.
Seven-night stays start from £4,000 in October with Sykes Holiday Cottages. With the ability to sleep up to 30 people, guests could be looking at spending a week in the Peak District for just £19 per person, per night.
The Temple, Peak District
You can escape to this luxurious, fantastically spacious, historic property for large celebrations with beautiful views.
This former hotel now serves as a gigantic holiday home complete with an impressively large bar area.
Located in the beautiful wooded gorge of the River Derwent, it is surrounded by stunning wooded hills and cliffs, and within walking distance there is an abundance of attractions such as Gulliver’s Kingdom, the Peak District Mining Museum, aquarium and arcades.
During their stay guests will be able to enjoy plenty of fun and games including a pool table, table tennis, air hockey and even a karaoke machine complete with lights.
Seven-night stays start from £4127 with Holidaycottages.co.uk and this behemoth of a holiday home can house up to 34 guests at a time, working out at a little over £17 per person, per night.
The Boar’s Head, Shropshire
This incredible former 16th century pub and inn rests within the centre of Bishop’s Castle in south Shropshire, offering superb accommodation with all the fantastic facilities you’d expect from a former pub and coaching inn.
Look forward to spending your time in the snug, cinema room for your relaxing evenings, or enjoy some family fun with a game of darts and pool in the games room.
For days out, you can simply explore the town from the doorstep or head off on many different walks taking in the beautiful countryside, leading you past castles, gardens and much more.
Seven-night stays start from £3,998 in October with Sykes Holiday Cottages and you and up to 22 of your friends could spend the week in the pub for approximately £24 per person, per night.
The Old Church House, Devon
This enchanting Grade II-listed inn provides spacious and stylish accommodation to cater to the needs of your celebratory getaway with friends and family.
The Old Church House, in Torbryan, is one of England’s oldest and most unique inns. Dating from the 13th century it is steeped in history and folklore.
Nestled in a picturesque village between majestic Dartmoor and Devon’s glorious south coast, and you have the perfect venue for a special getaway.
The bedrooms are chic, the kitchen has all the modern equipment you need, and there are plenty of highlights including a snooker room and darts alley.
Seven-night stays in September start from £3,481 with Sykes Holiday Cottages. Spacious enough groups of up to 24 guests, you could enjoy a late summer break in Devon for as little as £20 per person, per night.
The Five Bells Inn, Norfolk
Nestled away next to the waterside church of St Peter’s, this converted pub is a wonderful choice for a special occasion or family get-together.
In the bar area, there’s a pool table and a football table to keep guests occupied for hours, while others can gather around the bar for a more relaxing evening.
On pleasant evenings the outdoor hot tub can be used for guests to enjoy a cosy night under the stars in this picture-perfect corner of the country.
Seven-night stays are available in August starting from £3578 with Sykes Holiday Cottages. With enough room to sleep up to 21 guests, a stay in Norfolk could cost as little as £24 per person, per night.
This 14th Century country mansion is set within 22 acres of Herefordshire countryside. Guests can take a leisurely stroll around the five acres of beautifully landscaped gardens including a nature trail.
As well as a separate bar area, games and cinema room, library, pool table and wood-panelled dining room, the huge holiday mansion has its very own vineyard which produces sparkling wine, cider and apple juice.
This stately home can sleep up to 24 guests and provides the perfect backdrop for any special occasion, making guests feel like royalty.
Four-night stays in September start from £3,964 with Holidaycottages.co.uk.