The shock waves sent out by the collapse of the world’s oldest holiday company, Thomas Cook, are likely to be felt for years to come.

It is most obviously a disaster for its 21,000 European employees – 9,000 of whom work in the UK – and hundreds of those are in the North-East.

Our thoughts are with them and their families as they negotiate the uncertain weeks ahead.

But the demise of Thomas Cook may also prove fatal for some of the hotels and other businesses that relied on the firm for custom.

And while having a holiday ruined is not as bad as losing a job, the inconvenience faced by 150,000 British tourists who were left stranded overseas should be treated seriously.

Not least because it has triggered what Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, has called the biggest peacetime repatriation operation in history – a repatriation effort which is expected to continue until Sunday, October 6.

We must not forget that holidays are important, particularly when planned to mark milestones such as marriages and retirements, often months or years in advance.

The demise of yet another big high street name is bad news too for all those who rely on town centres for their livelihoods and shopping needs.

The abrupt closure of around 600 high street shops, including the branch on Prudhoe Front Street, will leave yet more empty spaces in towns already struggling to retain a sense of commercial life as more retail outlets migrate online.

A jump in the share prices of some of Thomas Cook’s competitors indicate that shareholders believe reduced competition will increase profits.

Therefore, this week’s events, as with the collapse Monarch Airlines two years ago, are likely to lead to price rises.

The 178-year-old firm’s disappearance is a blow to travellers everywhere.