Thomas Cook collapse is more “bad news for the Algarve”
Tour operator and airline Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy, announced this Monday, September 23rd, has left many Algarve tourism workers worried. In addition to the “negative repercussions for tourism”, the end of the operator will also have an impact on hoteliers due to the “many accumulated debts of services that have already been provided”.
The situation has caused travel chaos worldwide, leaving 150,000 stranded abroad.
This bankruptcy was announced after Thomas Cook, which oversees various flights, resorts and hotels, failed to secure the necessary funding to survive. It is the end of the British tourism giant, founded in 1808, that required around £200 million to not go under.
Elidérico Viegas, president of AHETA, the Algarve Hotels and Resorts Association, expressed extreme concern about the impacts this news will have on Portuguese companies.
“This is not any regular bankruptcy. Thomas Cook was the second largest tour operator in Europe, one of the most important in the world. Its bankruptcy has a negative impact on the Algarve: not only for tourists who could stop coming as often, but above all, due to the fact that these tourists have many accumulated debts for services that have already been provided to them, ”he said.
Although he still does not know an “exact amount”, Elidérico Viegas points to losses of “many millions of euros”, with “major repercussions on corporate results”.
João Soares, regional delegate of the Hotel Association of Portugal (AHP), said that he is also very concerned.
“We know the Algarve has a relatively small exposure compared to other Thomas Cook destinations, but some hotel groups and independent hotels that had contracts with Thomas Cook will certainly be at a loss,” he said.
“Unpaid invoices are always an annoyance too. What we have learned from past experience is that, unfortunately, hoteliers are always the ones that suffer most in these situations,” he said.
For João Soares, who hopes that his hotel in Quarteira won’t be overly affected, the situation is even more worrying in the context of other bankruptcies and struggles in the airline industry recent, such as Monarch, which went bankrupt last year.
Since 2009, Thomas Cook has been struggling, but even negotiations with Chinese giant Fosun have failed to prevent the bankruptcy.