Hays Travel’s retail director told the agency’s retail managers conference that the company will no-longer refer to any staff as ‘ex-Thomas Cook’.

Hays Travel has now opened 475 of the 555 former Cook shops it acquired after its collapse in September and employed more than 2,000 staff who used to work for the company.

It has also recruited 289 additional staff who had not previously worked for Cook.

Speaking at the conference in Turkey, Jan Schumm said: “This is the last time we will refer to anyone as ‘ex-Thomas Cook’; from now on we are all part of the Hays Travel family.”

John Hays, managing director, shared his vision for 2020, with the main theme ‘happy staff equals happy customers’.

He paid tribute to the Thomas Cook brand and explained why he believes Hays Travel can succeed both on the high street and online.

“We have absolute confidence and trust in the skills and commitment of our colleagues to use all channels to develop strong connections with customers, so that they always book the right holiday for the right client,” he said.

“They have the freedom to communicate unscripted to our clients and can use their talent to the full to sell the unlimited range of holidays we can provide as the UK’s largest independent agent – and they tell me this is an important part of their job satisfaction.”

Managers have been told they can manage their own branch Facebook pages and tailor each post to their individual customers. The message was ‘know your customers, understand what they’re looking for and connect with them in the best way for them, whether on line, in store or both’.