Greek economy may lose 2.5 billion euros from Thomas Cook collapse

Screen Shot 2019 10 02 at 10.01.18 am

Screen Shot 2019 10 02 at 10.01.18 am

The collapse of UK tour operator Thomas Cook may cost the Greek economy more than 2.5 billion euros in 2019 and 2020, according to a survey released on Tuesday in Athens.

Total losses to Greece’s accommodation sector from the collapse of Thomas Cook is estimated at 315 million euros, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels announced.

According to a survey conducted by the Research Institute for Tourism (ITEP) during the September 24-27 period, out of Greece’s 9,917 hotels, 12 percent (1,193) had deals with the Thomas Cook Group in 2019, with 48 percent of the Greek hotel partners of Thomas Cook fall into the 1, 2 and 3 star categories.

The survey said that the negative impact was not restricted only in claims for 2019 - which can no longer be covered - but noted that estimated losses of arrivals and stayovers because of the collapse of the UK tour operator in 2020 will reach 1.0 billion euros, while for the economy in general losses could reach 2.5 billion euros next year.

The areas mainly affected by the tour operator’s collapse include islands in the South Aegean, the Ionian, and Crete.

Alexandros Vasilikos, president of the Chamber, speaking to media, stressed that such a negative development can have a serious impact on the economy of the country. He also said the Chamber was examining a package of measures aimed to support employment, liquidity and the viability of hotel units. He also underlined the need to create a large alliance between the government, tourism authorities, regional authorities, agencies, and enterprises to promote the country and to implement alternative synergies as the economy faced the risk of losses worth 2.5 billion euros in 2020.

"Extending the tourism season and attracting visitors with higher incomes are urgent targets for the tourism industry," Vasilikos added.