Being a digital marketing agency in Peterborough we were very aware of the Thomas Cook crash. Peterborough is where their head office is based, just across the road rom our old office in Lynchwood Business Park.
Loads of our clients were sharing support for Thomas Cook employees, we shared offers of support and re-shared vacancies and special offers for local people that now found they were left with no jobs.
I’ve been made redundant a few times in the past, that was one of the main reasons I set up my business. It mean that I had control of my future, that I could make it work for me.
I worked for Thomas Cook as a Holiday Rep in Spain for almost 1 year. I immediately thought of how the reps overseas would have felt. I imagined how I would have coped if it had happened to me in 2004, when I was just 19 years old.
I really felt for all those people employed by Thomas Cook, that were dropped in such a horrendous way and left without a job or any idea where their next pay package may have come from.
As you may have seen from my social media presence, I have been on holiday. I went to Spain with my partner for 10 days. We celebrated his 40th birthday. We were not with Thomas Cook, so felt our holiday was safe…
On arrival to our hotel we found they were closing down in the middle of our holiday so we were moved to another holiday for our full stay. In fact the company we were staying with had 3 hotels in close proximity. They were shutting 2 down and everyone was moving to the remaining hotel. In the one week we were staying with them, they had lost 800 guests!
During the 10 days on holiday we went to a water park that was meant to have 4 coaches going to it, instead just one. One night out in town, the late opening pubs were completely empty. We saw Thomas Cook planes just stranded at both airports, Thomas Cook buses left across Spain and hotels were continually closing during our time on holiday.
Each walk round the local area saw another hotel boarded up. Locals explained that while it was coming to the end of the season, it had never been this quiet and was a direct impact from Thomas Cook.
I was living in the Thomas Cook Peterborough bubble. Perhaps stupidly it hadn’t crossed my mind how much it would affect other people and businesses. I thought back to my time as a rep. We had hotels that were solely for Thomas Cook customers – what has happened to these hotels now, the staff, the suppliers and the shops, bars and restaurants in the local area to these hotels?
This holiday has really shown me the effects of Thomas Cook, outside the Thomas Cook Peterborough bubble. It’s made me think about my business too. What would happen if my business went under overnight? How would this affect ‘the bigger picture’?
We have a contingency plan in place for is this was to happen, although it would be extremely unlikely. But what about you – what would happen to your clients, suppliers, local businesses and those you support if things took a turn for the worst?