BUSINESS

Losses from Thomas Cook at 2.5 bln euros by 2020

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism, Economy

The cost to the entire Greek economy of UK tour operator Thomas Cook’s collapse will come to some 2.5 billion euros, or about 1.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to a study by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.

The sum of 2.5 billion is made up of the following:

A survey carried out among hoteliers by the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP) showed that the oldest tour operator in history has run up some 190 million euros in obligations and losses following its demise. If other forms of accommodation are included, that figure climbs to 221 million euros. Factoring in the arrivals of other tour operators that used Thomas Cook aircraft, the total obligations and losses in the accommodation domain add up to 315 million euros.

Another set of losses put at 516 million euros are projected for the hotel sector for next year; losses for the broader accommodation sector are estimated at 929 million euros. Using the tourism coefficient – i.e. the multiplication of the direct hit on hotels by 2.5 to assess the impact on the entire economy – total estimated losses by 2020 climb to almost 2.5 billion euros, according to ITEP’s study.

Hotels in lower categories appear particularly exposed to losses from the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook: Out of the country’s 9,917 hotels, 1,193 cooperated with Thomas Cook this year – i.e. 12 percent of the country’s hotels. Almost half of those (48 percent) belong to the one-, two- and three-star categories.

The chamber’s president, Alexandros Vassilikos, said the entity is already examining a set of measures to support employment, the cash flow of the enterprises hurt, and the sustainability of hotel units.

He also stressed the need for a broad alliance comprising the government, the Greek National Tourism Organization, regional and local authorities, and tourism entities and enterprises in view of the risk of the real economy losing 2.5 billion euros by 2020, in order to place special emphasis on the promotion of the country and the securing of alternative synergies.

“The lengthening of the tourism season and the attraction of visitors from high-income categories are targets that have become particularly urgent for the tourism economy and the country in general,” Vassilikos argued.

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