The wealth Hays Travel is getting from Thomas Cook? People

As many see the future of travel as online bookings, the question on Wednesday is - what does Hays Travel know that the rest do not?

This is a high stakes move by Britain's biggest independent travel agent.

Hays currently has 190 stores and that will now almost triple as it takes over 555 from Thomas Cook.

The 40 year old chain currently has 1,900 employees. Now it will sign up as many as 2,500 from the Thomas Cook network.

Hays' move is already being seen as smart by insiders.

Hays has already recruited 421 former Thomas Cook staff and offered employment to the airline's personnel.

It quickly realised that Thomas Cook's big problem was not its store chain - but its high levels of company debt.

The founders of Hays, John and Irene, also understand the great value of expertise.

Getting the Thomas Cook workers gives them a wealth of that.

There is evidence that in a confusing world of company closures, world conflict zones and baffling trade compensation schemes many customers greatly appreciate face-to-face information.