Less than 5% of Malaysian travel agents use Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook has run into debts totalling some RM8.85 billion. (AFP pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The collapse of Thomas Cook, the oldest tour company in the world, is not expected to have much of an impact on Malaysian travellers as less than 5% of local travel agents use its services.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) deputy president Mohd Akil Yusof said that of the estimated 3,600 travel agents registered with the association, only a small number still use the British company’s services as the rest have migrated to platforms offering better deals.

Thomas Cook, which manages hotels, holiday resorts and an airline catering to some 19 million customers in 16 countries, went bust today, causing thousands of tourists to be stranded throughout the world and the British government having to undertake its biggest peacetime repatriation of its citizens.

It was reported that the 178-year-old company is burdened with debts to the tune of 1.7 billion pounds (RM8.85 billion) and had a tough time facing online competitors and changes in the tour and travel industry besides geopolitics.

Akil said the association has yet to receive any complaints from agents or its members on cancellation of tour packages offered by Thomas Cook.

“If there are, it will only be known in a week or two,” he said.

He said Matta would advise any affected party to make immediate claims to the appointed liquidator because the matter is more than just a commercial one.

“Matta cannot get directly involved because a contract is between the travel agent and Thomas Cook,” he said.