UK right not to rescue Thomas Cook: PM

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says his government is right not to bail out tour company Thomas Cook, arguing that travel firms should do more to ensure they don't collapse.

The 178-year-old tour operator ceased trading on Monday after failing to secure STG200 million ($A368 million) in rescue funding.

Johnson said the government would help repatriate 150,000 stranded British travellers. But he said bailing out the company would have established "a moral hazard" because other firms might later expect the same treatment.

Johnson said, "We need to look at ways in which tour operators one way or another can protect themselves from such bankruptcies in future."

"One is driven to reflect on whether the directors of these companies are properly incentivised to sort such matters out."