Phil Evans knows how it feels when a company you love goes under.

In 2008, XL Leisure Group folded just two years after the his family had sold tour operator Travel City Direct to the company.

Earlier this week, thousands of Thomas Cook employees were left devastated when the company they loved ceased trading.

So, Evans, owner of cruise specialist agency Cruise Nation, took to Facebook and offered mini bottles of limoncello to the first 50 Thomas Cook agents who got in touch.

In the post, he wrote: “It’s my way of sending some sunshine your way, things will be bright again believe me.

He said: “I just thought that they were having a pretty bad week and I wanted to say ‘hold your head up high’.

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“I am quite sensitive to these kind of things. My family company, even though it was sold to XL, went bust. It had been the largest tour operator to Florida.”

Evans was flooded with requests from Thomas Cook staff on Friday (September 27) and is now sending out packages to homes across the country.

“I like to give back – and it is just a bit of fun,” he said. “We are one industry at the end of the day.”