Thomas Cook collapse affects destinations

By | Category: Travel news

The collapse of Thomas Cook has hit some destinations and only now in the cold light of day are they realising the implications.

Ibiza where there will probably be fewer holidaymakers this Autumn because of the demise of Thomas Cook

Take the Balearic islands of Ibiza, Menorca and Mallorca for example. Hoteliers want reassurance that they will be paid if they haven’t already been but equally concerning is what will happen when the Britons return home.

Where will the tourists come from in a fortnight’s time? How will hoteliers survive the lean winter period without the British arriving for their winter breaks? What will happen to the staff if new tourists cannot be found? These are just a few of the questions facing hoteliers.

Facing tourist officials is an even trickier task. How can they fill the attractions, the excursions and keep the tourist industry ticking over until other UK tour operators take up the slack caused by the Thomas Cook mess?

To some extent this relies on Britons returning but some will not because they will still be awaiting their refunds. Until that money arrives they may not be able to take a winter holiday.

In Turkey, the government there has said that about 20,000 Britons are holidaying there. It has issued a statement saying that the accommodation costs will be guaranteed by the bonding and air licence schemes back in the UK. That may relieve the anxieties of both British tourists and accommodation providers. the Turkish government has also announced contingency measures for Turkish companies affect ted by the collapse.

But no such support has yet been offered by the Greek government where it is thought that over 20,000 Britons (out of over 50,000 Thomas Cook customers) are holidaying. It isn’t just Britons that need repatriating. So do Belgians, Dutch, French and Germans along with Scandinavians as well.

If ever there was a need for an EU concentrated approach, this would seem to be the time.

In Greece it is a similar picture.  Hoteliers are asking for an urgent meeting with the tourism ministry to discuss support for those affected by the collapse.

In Tunisia, there were reports of one hotel in Hammamet stopping holidaymakers leaving but the tourism ministry has said that the hotel owner wanted to check with the government on what the procedures would be. That was quickly resolved and Thomas Cook clients left the hotel. The Tunisian government said that all customers are free to leave as and when they reach the end of their holiday.

In the Caribbean, 1.3% of all visitors througout the year are brought solely by Thomas Cook says the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association or about 400,000 people. hey, like many other destinations, are hoping that the EU approves the bailout of the Thomas Cook German subsidiary Condor so that 200,000 of those visitors can still travel to the Caribbean in the forthcoming season.

Other countries are examining the impact of losing so many Autumn holidaymakers and all will be pressed by local tourism organisations for assistance.

And who says tourism isn’t an economic force? It’s far more important than some governments (including that of the UK) think and understand.

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