The collapse of Thomas Cook looks set to cost hoteliers in Cyprus up to €30 million from British customers alone, the president of the Cyprus Hotel Association of Famagusta has told TTG.
Speaking on Wednesday (25 September), two days after the world’s oldest tour operator collapsed, Doros Takkas, who is also general manager of four hotels, said the estimate covered only the current unpaid bills and didn’t take into account the 45 days left of the season that the industry would also now lose out on.
“We were aware that Thomas Cook was in a not-so-healthy situation… but this still came as a shock for a lot of people,” Takkas said. “We estimate the damage to Cyprus hoteliers to be about €50-60 million, and around €25-30 million of that will just be from British customers.”
It’s a shock with ripples that will be felt across Cyprus. Takkas estimates Thomas Cook Group brought in around 250,000 customers from across Europe annually – some 7-8% of the total visitor numbers to the country. And while Takkas said it was positive that Cook’s Swedish division, Ving, would at least continue to operate, he admitted the loss of British Cook customers would be hugely damaging to Cyprus and its economy.
“Am I worried? Yes,” he said. “We have a lot of concerns about the UK anyway because of Brexit – now to have a major tour operator go down like this, people are worried; they’re nervous.
“The hotels are actually working on overdrafts to cover this. And then there’s the impact on suppliers; it’s a domino effect.”