SWOT analysis of Thomas Cook
This is a detailed SWOT analysis of Thomas Cook. It aims to examine the strengths and the weaknesses of Thomas Cook Group plc. It also aims to examine the opportunities the company should explore, and the threats it should keep an eye on. Thomas Cook Group plc is a British global leisure travel company. While the history of the company dates back to 1841, Thomas Cook AG and MyTravel Group plc merged in 2007 to form what is known today as Thomas Cook Group plc.
Strengths of Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook is one of the leading leisure travel groups in the world. As of June 2019, it operates from 16 countries and serves approximately 20 million customers a year (Thomas Cook, 2019). The main business segments of the company are tour operations, airline business, and hotels & resorts. Providing customers with a number of services in one stop, works as a competitive advantage for Thomas Cook.
The airline business of Thomas Cook consists of Thomas Cook Airlines UK, Condor Germany, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia, and Thomas Cook Airlines Balearics. As of June 2019, Thomas Cook has 100 aircrafts and flies from some of Europe’s main airports to popular holiday destinations (Taylor, 2019). It enjoys the privileges of attractive take-off and landing slots in a number of very busy and famous airports such as Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Gatwick, and Manchester.
Thomas Cook Hotels & Resorts operate under eight brand names and comprise of 200 hotels across 47 destinations. It has 190 own brand hotels and resorts that are very capable to meet the needs of every taste and budget. It is in fact one of the best 40 hotel companies in the world (Thomas Cook, 2019).
Thomas Cook has 2957 retail outlets and the company website is very good and user friendly. 12 million unique visitors land in the website every month and the company has 10.5 million consumer profiles in its CRM database (Thomas Cook, 2019). The company has approximately 22,000 employees to serve its customers.
Weaknesses of Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook has been struggling financially for a long time. Particularly, the recent financial performances have been very concerning. For instance, it has reported a £1.5bn loss for the first half of 2019 (Wilson, 2019). Further warnings have also been issued for the rest of the year. The year 2018 was also very disappointing financially for the company. In addition, discussions are well underway concerning whether the company should continue with its own airlines.
Some analysts argue that too many brands have led to confusion in the minds of customers. Another problem with Thomas Cook is poor customer satisfaction. Many customers have expressed their dissatisfaction with the company’s airline services in social media, and review sites such as Trip Advisor. Many passengers have branded the services as poor, and disappointing (Trip Advisor, 2019).
Opportunities for Thomas Cook
Opening new hotels and resorts in existing and new markets is a good opportunity for Thomas Cook. In fact, the company is opening two new hotels in Egypt in October 2019. New hotel openings also took place in Turkey, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria in early 2019.
Love Local, Thomas Cook’s new programme of in-resort activities, is likely to draw the attention of many new and existing customers. These local community-centred activities offer holidaymakers opportunities to meet local communities, participate in traditional activities, and give something back to the local communities. This is indeed a very good opportunity for Thomas Cook as two in five British holidaymakers are more likely to choose activities which benefit the local community in some way (Thomas Cook, 2019).
Threats to Thomas Cook
Threat is the last element to address in the SWOT analysis of Thomas Cook. It goes without saying that Thomas Cook faces a number of powerful competitors. Its main competitors include but not limited to TUI, Jet2, Virgin Holidays, First Choice, On the Beach, and Airtours.
Accidents, government regulations, global trade wars, sanctions, rising fuel prices and uncertainties in the airline sector are also some other threats that can affect any airline such as Thomas Cook.
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Last update: 02 July 2019
Taylor, I. (2019) Comment: Who will buy Thomas Cook’s airline? Available at: http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/324229/comment-who-will-buy-thomas-cooks-airline (accessed 01 July 2017)
Thomas Cook (2019) Thomas Cook Group, available at: https://www.thomascookgroup.com/business (accessed 01 July 2019)
Trip Advisor (2019) Thomas Cook Airlines (UK) https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Airline_Review-d8728952-Reviews-or20-Thomas-Cook-Airlines-UK#REVIEWS (accessed 01 July 2019)
Wilson, B. (2019) Thomas Cook: What’s gone wrong at the holiday firm? Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business46452374?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/c416n3k3156t/thomas-cook-group&link_location=live-reporting-story (accessed 01 July 2019)
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Author: Jo David
Jo David has years of experience both in the UK and abroad. He writes regularly online on a variety of topics. He has a keen interest in business, hospitality and tourism management.