ECHO COMMENT: Here's hoping Gloucestershire survives Thomas Cook crisis
THE impact of national business collapses, like HMV and Blockbuster, have been strongly felt in Cheltenham.
And the news that this year’s problems have spread to the travel industry will cause further concern.
There has to be a hope that some of the busy Thomas Cook county branches will not be among the 195 of the 1,000-plus that will close.
Certainly anyone looking in on the shop on Cheltenham High Street at busy times of year will be surprised by the development. Far from a struggling business, queuing is often the norm.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
But a number of factors have left the world’s oldest travel group in a situation where it has decided radical changes are the only way forward.
The euro zone debt crisis, high fuel costs and unrest in some of its most popular destinations like Egypt and Greece have all counted against Thomas Cook.
Its particular problems is that its main customer base are families with young children, who are in a much worse position to spend on holidays than they were years ago.
If the miserable summer weather of last year wasn’t enough to encourage people back to the package holidays that had become the norm, then the writing was clearly on the wall.
Let’s hope this is one business whose rationalisation will lead to, as bosses predict, a strong business going forward rather than the collapse of another household name.
EVERYBODY will have sympathy for Dom Etchells.
After breaking his foot, the young man is making sure he can still get around after investing in a mobility scooter.
But he could not seriously have expected Castleways to be able to get him and the mobility scooter on their bus on a regular basis.
It is absolutely right that where possible bus companies should do all they can to help the disabled. More can still be done, but there have been significant improvements in recent years that have improved both accessibility and comfort for wheelchair users in particular.
A part-time driver was able to get Dom and the scooter on his bus on Saturday and such flexibility is to be welcomed.
But the response of Castleways director Rowena McCubbin is both honest and realistic.