In 1851, the founder arranged transport to the Great Exhibition of 1851. He organised his first tours to Europe in 1855 and to the United States in 1865. In 1865, the founder's son John Mason Cook began working for the company full time. In 1871, he became a partner, and the name of the company was changed to Thomas Cook and Son.
In 1884, John Mason Cook attempted to relieve General Gordon from Khartoum.
In 1924, the company was renamed to Thomas Cook & Son Ltd., after acquiring a limited liability status. In 1928, the business was sold to the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits et des Grandes Express Européens, operator of the Orient Express. In 1948, it was acquired by Britain's mainline railway companies. It was then bought by a consortium of Midland Bank, Trusthouse Forte and the Automobile Association in 1972 and by WestLB in 1995. In 1999, it merged with Carlson Leisure.
In 2000, the company sold off its worldwide foreign exchange business to Travelex to concentrate on tours and holidays.
After the market depression, particularly following the 2001 September 11 attacks, the company started a disinvestment programme, disposing of subsidiaries and business ventures.
In 2002, the company was acquired by C&N Touristic AG, a German group, who in turn changed its own name to Thomas Cook AG.
On 21 December 2005, Thomas Cook AG sold off Thomas Cook International Markets, a venture which includes 60% of the stake in Thomas Cook India Ltd to Dubai Financial LLC, a part of the Dubai Investment Group (DIG) which manages the financial and real estate interests of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai.
Then in 2006 Dubai Financial LLC acquired a license to use the Thomas Cook name in the Middle East. Thomas Cook Middle East