The collapse of Thomas Cook has left a huge hole in the Spanish tourism industry. The British travel group, which ceased activity on Monday after failing to secure funding, is one of the largest sources of tourists to Spain, bringing around 3.6 million passengers to the country every year.
Spanish companies, especially in the Canary and Balearic Islands, where Thomas Cook brought in an annual 3.2 million visitors, fear the collapse could lead to millions of euros in losses, while Spain’s CGT labor union has also warned that thousands of jobs could be at risk.
Reyes Maroto, Spain’s caretaker industry, trade and tourism minister, will meet on Tuesday with representatives from the Spanish regions hardest hit by the fall of Thomas Cook – Canary Islands, Catalonia, Balearic Islands and Andalusia – to prepare a plan to mitigate the effects of the group’s demise.
Thomas Cook was one of the five largest international hotel operators in Spain, with three airlines (Condor, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia), and a fleet of 105 planes. In Spain, the group manages 63 hotels, most of which belong to one of eight hotel chains. These hotels employ 2,500 workers and provide 12,000 of the 40,000 beds offered by Thomas Cook in Europe. What’s more, Thomas Cook had made more than one million reservations for the coming months, many of them in Spain. The Meliá hotel chain announced on Monday that it would refund the reservations made by Thomas Cook customers who were planning on staying at the hotel