The head of Spain’s hotel federation has warned 500 hotels face immediate closure as a result of Thomas Cook’s collapse.
Speaking to Cinco Dias, the head of Spain’s Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation, Juan Molas, said on Monday the situation faced by hundreds of hotels in the wake of Thomas Cook’s collapse could get worse “if the government doesn’t take immediate action”.
Some 500 hotels that counted on the travel company for between 30 and 70 per cent of their clients face immediate closure in Spain. Around 100 hotels exclusively depended on Thomas Cook for clientele.
The Canary and Balearic Islands are expected to be worse hit, with 40 percent of their hotels affected, while air links into the Canary Islands are set to be significantly affected.
“The busy season is starting and Thomas Cook had 30 per cent of air capacity,” Molas told Cinco Dias.
Molas is urging the government to contact Ryanair, one of the few carriers that flies there, to urge the budget airline “to reconsider” plans to close four bases in Spain, three of which are in the Canaries. He said it was “critical” that the airline maintains its flights.
News agency Agence France-Presse reported that holidaymakers who booked with Thomas Cook are also discovering that some hotels in Spain are demanding they pay their bills now the travel company has gone bust.
Tourists arriving on Spain’s resort island of Mallorca for the start of their holidays have also found hotel reservations they made through the company are not valid, while others have been forced to pay for their accommodation again after hotels claimed they had not received money from Thomas Cook for bookings.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), who is offering financial assurances to ATOL-protected Thomas Cook customers, said holidaymakers should not have to pay their hotel bills, as these are usually picked up by the tour company after their stay.
The authority advised that nervous hoteliers may try to pressurise tourists into leaving or foot their own bill.