The economic losses for Greek businesses in the tourism industry from the collapse of British travel firm Thomas Cook are estimated between 250 to 500 million euros, the country's tourism confederation SETE said on Monday night.
SETE proposed measures to protect Greek businesses from the fallout, including an exemption from the payment of VAT on uncollected invoices from Thomas Cook, an exemption from the payment of the overnight tax for Thomas Cook tourists and a lowering of the VAT rate for tourist packages.
“The government must realize the magnitude of the problem and take immediate decisions for support, to avoid the expected domino effect,” SETE President Andreas Andreadis said in a tweet.
“Our tourism has never faced such a mega-bankruptcy until today. It is a difficult case, with huge costs and many consequences that require calmness and good cooperation from all sides."
Andreadis also called on everyone working in the tourism industry to treat stranded tourists with “respect and generosity.”
About 50,000 tourists remained in Greece and mainly on island resorts, the tourism minister said earlier on Monday as extra flights were booked to ease their return home.
Officials said the tourists, mostly British, were on the islands of Zakynthos, Kos, Corfu, Skiathos and Crete, hitting an industry accounting for about a quarter of Greek economic output.