Gambian Tourism minister Hamat Bah has told The Associated Press the country’s government has convened an emergency meeting to deal with the collapse of travel company Thomas Cook.
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People in the tiny West African coastal nation say the shutdown could have a devastating impact on tourism, which contributes more than 30% of GDP.
Gambian artist and craftsman Boubacarr Bah says the tourist season is set to begin in October and the company’s collapse means that “we are going to suffer the consequences.”
Portugal is hoping it will see limited immediate fallout from the collapse of British tour company Thomas Cook but industry officials think the country will need more aggressive tourism marketing.
Portugal already fears fewer tourists due to Brexit, Britain’s planned departure from the European Union. One media campaign tells British holidaymakers they are “Brelcome” to visit and says “Portugal will never leave you.”
The German government says they’re considering a request from the Condor Airlines, which is owned by Thomas Cook, for a bridging loan but won’t say when it will be confirmed.
Tunisia’s government is offering assurances that Thomas Cook clients won’t be prevented from leaving the country, following British media reports that vacationers were blocked at a hotel because of a payment dispute.
The ministry vowed that “no such problem of blockage will be repeated” and said it is coordinating with hotel owners and travel agencies “to ensure that all tourists leave Tunisia in the best conditions.”
Turkey’s tourism ministry says there are more than 21,000 Thomas Cook UK customers currently staying in Turkish hotels.
The ministry posted on Twitter Monday that guest payments were guaranteed by the U.K.’s Air Travel Organiser’s Licence or ATOL. The statement warned there would be legal proceedings against hotels demanding payment from guests or forcing them to leave.
Cyprus’ minister for tourism, Savvas Perdios said Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy will strike a blow to the Cypriot tourism industry, as the company’s clients represented 5-6% of Cyprus’ annual tourist arrivals or around 250,000 people. The company was scheduled to bring 45,000 more tourists to Cyprus until the end of the season.
The deputy minister said there’s a real risk that some hotels might not get paid for bookings from July, August, and September. It’s estimated hotel owners could lose as much as 50 million euros ($55.1 million) as a result.
Spanish airport operator AENA says 46 flights have been affected by the collapse of the British tour company Thomas Cook, mostly in Spain’s Balearic and Canary archipelagos. Up to 30,000 tourists are believed to be stranded.
FEHT President José María Mañaricúa told Cadena Ser radio that hoteliers fear the economic impact of the collapse of Thomas Cook because most bookings for the high-peak winter season, one of the busiest with British tourists, had already been confirmed. The company is the second-largest tour operator in the islands, Mañaricúa said.
Greece’s Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis says about 50,000 Thomas Cook customers are currently in Greece, and about 22,000 of them are expected to be flown home over the next three days.
Theocharis said the company’s collapse would deliver a strong blow to Greece’s key tourism industry, which accounts for about a fifth of the economy.
On the island of Crete, where about 20,000 people who booked holidays with Thomas Cook are currently staying, tourism officials said the company’s collapse hit the local tourism industry like an earthquake.
The Dutch subsidiary of Thomas Cook says it is not accepting any new bookings as it looks at options to restrict the impact of the collapse of the tour company for its customers and employees.
The Dutch organization says in a statement Monday that customers who have booked a holiday are covered by a nonprofit organization that protects travelers when travel companies collapse.
Some 400,000 Dutch customers go on a Thomas Cook holiday each year. The company employs 200 people in the Netherlands.
Germany’s Condor airline says it can no longer carry travelers who booked with Thomas Cook companies.
Condor then said that for legal reasons it can no longer transport passengers who booked with Thomas Cook companies. According to Thomas Cook, 140,000 people who booked with its German tour operators are currently on vacation and 21,000 were supposed to depart Monday or Tuesday.
The Belgian branch of British tour company Thomas Cook says it continues its operations while trying to “limit the impact” of the company’s collapse.
The company added that clients who booked their holidays via Thomas Cook Belgium or its local partner Neckermann are covered by a travel guarantee fund.
Unions representing Thomas Cook workers have reacted with anger to the collapse of the travel company.
Manuel Cortes, leader of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, said the collapse shouldn’t have happened.
“The government had been given the opportunity to step in and help Thomas Cook but has instead chosen ideological dogma over saving thousands of jobs.” he said.
Thomas Cook’s German airline subsidiary, Condor, says it is still flying and is seeking a bridging loan from the German government.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the government was right not to bail out tour company Thomas Cook, arguing that travel firms should do more to ensure they don’t collapse.
Mr. B. Johnson said the government would help repatriate 150,000 stranded British travelers. But he said bailing out the company would have established “a moral hazard” because other firms might later expect the same treatment.
The Civil Aviation Authority announced the Thomas Cook collapse early Monday. More than 600,000 vacationers had booked through the company.
British tour operator Thomas Cook has ceased trading and all its hundreds of thousands of bookings canceled after the firm failed to secure rescue funding.
The group’s four airlines will be grounded and its 21,000 employees in 16 countries, including 9,000 in the UK, will be left unemployed.