Travel Industry Upheaval – How to Stay Safe

It was kind of shocking to learn of Thomas Cook’s collapse in the UK. Over 150,000 passengers were stranded. The UK government repatriated citizens. See THOMAS COOK COLLAPSES and VIDEO: Thomas Cook Collapses – CEO Apologizes

As my former profession of financial services proved with the banking industry in the US in 2008, there is no such thing as too big to fail anymore. But Thomas Cook – well, that was kinda shocking. Sure, competition and Brexit didn’t help them. They’d been struggling for several years now, and rescue attempts came and went. But Thomas Cook actually collapsing? Wow. As noted in the video link, “wire services said the collapse of the 178-year-old company would put 22,000 people out of jobs around the world.”

As the collapse linked article indicated, “most of Thomas Cook’s British customers are protected by the government-run travel insurance program, which makes sure vacationers can get home if a British-based tour operator fails while they are abroad.”…. and “an estimated 1 million future travellers will find their bookings for upcoming holidays cancelled. They are likely to receive refunds under the terms of the government’s travel insurance plan.” And “Wire services said the collapse of the 178-year-old company would put 22,000 people out of jobs around the world.”

A quick Google search will show these articles:


Of course, the travel industry will survive this upheaval. I’ve been in travel for 13 years now, and there’s always a major calamity around the corner that will destroy everything – Ebola, volcanic ash clouds, terrorist attacks, 100 year floods, and so on. The travel industry always comes out of difficult spots – because we all want to travel. But new rules and regulations always emerge, which makes us stronger – and new cautions come.

But what does that mean to you, and how does it impact you as you seek to travel the world?

Here’s a few things to consider:

1.) Please don’t book that really cool online hiking or barge company, or something else, that no one has ever heard of, and they seem to be priced too good to be true. It usually means they really are too good to be true. Systems, management control, employees, payroll, trust accounts, auditing, oversight, etc all take time, experience and money. There are some companies out there that have the website presence but nothing else – and there are others that cut corners they shouldn’t. But always remember the old adage- there is no such thing as a free lunch. If it seems you’re getting a free lunch, it generally means you’ll pay for it some other way.  Please beware. Make sure you book your holiday with a trusted, vetted, and regulated TICO (Travel Industry Council of Ontario) travel advisor. (I am one.)

2.) Take my advice when we’re looking at holidays. I recommend preferred travel partners – travel partners that I, Vision Travel, and Virtuoso have established relationships with. I work with trusted, vetted, and regulated companies. I work with companies who deliver on their promises – both to clients and to me. I work with companies who jump in and solve problems when they happen  – because problems always happen in travel, and the hallmark of a good company is how they resolve the problem.

3.) Buy the travel protection. Yes, I know it’s a grudge purchase. But just think of the grudge you’ll have it you don’t buy it, but then need it.

And let me know if you want to talk further.