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Boost Omagh as travel store set to re-open

OMAGH’s town centre received a welcome boost yesterday (Wednesday) when it was announced that the former Thomas Cook store could be re-opening very soon under new ownership.

Just over two weeks ago, devastated staff at the Market Street premises were made redundant after the sudden collapse of the 178-year-old travel
firm.

The Omagh branch was one of hundreds across the UK that closed “with immediate effect”.

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But it emerged that independent travel agents, Hays Travel, had agreed to buy all of Thomas Cook’s high street shops in the UK.

The Sunderland-based company, which has acquired the entire retail portfolio of 555 former Thomas Cook shops, has proposed to re-open the rebranded stores immediately – where possible – and to take on up to 2,500 staff.

Irene Hays, chair of the Hays Travel Group, said, “Thomas Cook was a much-loved brand and a pillar of the UK and the global travel industry. We will build on the good things Thomas Cook had – not least its people – and that will put us in even better stead for the future.”

Hays Travel said it had already recruited more than 400 former Thomas Cook employees and could now offer “opportunities to more people”.

In a message posted on social media yesterday, the firm said it was ready to welcome “many more” of the Thomas Cook retail branch staff.

It stated, “We know how devastating it must have been – many of you have shared your experiences with us and it has been an emotional time for all of
us.

“In coming to Hays Travel you can be assured that we will be doing our utmost to build upon all that was good about the much-loved Thomas Cook brand.

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“And we will share with you our own strong values and belief in our people as we work together to ensure a smooth transition for the whole of the business.”

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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