The current financial crisis which is facing the world’s oldest travel firm, Thomas Cook, is not likely to affect operations of local companies.
The company has announced to close 200 underperforming shops and 500 hotels worldwide and is lining up further disposals, as it battles to cut debt and restore confidence among investors and customers after a bailout by its banks.
Speaking to this paper in an interview at the weekend, the chairman of Tanzania Society of Travel Agents (Tasota), Moustafa Khataw, said the crisis, nevertheless, will not affect the operations of the firm in Tanzania. Skylink Tanzania is an affiliate of Thomas cook.
He said many of hotel bookings are not done through Thomas cook, but with other international travel agents.
“We have been operating with the Thomas Cook, but a big part of our booking is done through other travel agents, he said.
Khataw assured Tanzanians that already hotels are full and there is no need to worry about the changes happening with the firm in other parts of the world.
The world's oldest travel firm, which last month secured a rescue package from lenders, said the move was part of a turnaround plan that would deliver an annual profit improvement of 110 million pounds.
The future of Europe's second-biggest travel firm by sales has been in question since it asked lenders to come to its rescue twice in five weeks, sending its shares into freefall, after it warned of a possible debt default.
"We have instigated significant management changes and implemented a turnaround plan in the UK to address our areas of underperformance," acting chief executive Sam Weihagen said in a conference.
The company said 660 jobs would be at risk as it closes 200 of its 1,300 shops in Britain. Unemployment in Britain is at a 17-year high, data revealed Wednesday.
Additionally, Thomas Cook plans to cut its airline fleet to 35 from 41, invest more in its online business, and consider more disposals on top of the 200 million pounds of non-core asset sales announced in July.
Weihagen said the company would review all its businesses and declined to rule out selling its Scandinavian arm, described by Barclays capital analysts as its "crown jewel."
Thomas Cook's banks, led by Barclays (BARC.L), HSBC (HSBA.L), RBS (RBS.L) and Uni Credit (CRDI.MI), last month agreed to provide a new 200 million pounds credit facility.
The company said last week trading had picked up since then, with summer bookings in Britain up 8 percent year on year, having slumped by 30 percent in the days after news broke of the company's financial troubles in November.