Thomas Cook – one of the UK’s largest travel operators

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Best known for its package holidays, Thomas Cook is one of the UK’s largest travel operators.

With over 19,000 employees based in 3,000 stores, in 2013 it was estimated that the business had around 20 million customers, generating sales of around £9 billion worldwide.

Despite many people now turning to the internet in order to find a holiday – with businesses like icelolly.com and ebookers.com making huge gains in the industry – Thomas Cook still has a strong presence on the British high street, and remains ahead of competitors STA Travel and Thomson.

Thomas Cook Bus Advert at Preston Guild 2012

It has been estimated that Thomas Cook is still the most powerful force in the UK travel agency market, and boasts on its website of being in the top 2 providers in every market that it covers.

Thomas Cook shop in Altrincham

As well as their core business, Thomas Cook have recently diversified by engineering takeovers of various other related companies, including online booking portal Hotels4U.com, internet flight provider NetFlights and luxury travel firm Elegant Resorts.

The company has also been known to provide sports sponsorship in order to increase visibility – the London 2012 Olympics, Manchester City and Peterborough United have all been associated with the brand.

Unlike most travel agencies, Thomas Cook does have its own private fleet of aircraft, currently owning around 100 branded aeroplanes used to provide travel for their internally booked package deals.