Thomas Cook: Algarve Tourism Board supports stranded tourists
João Fernandes, the president of the Algarve Tourism Association (ATA), told the media that his bureau is coordinating efforts to ensure that the repatriation of Thomas Cook clients in the region runs as smoothly as possible.
The Tourism Association is monitoring the situation with the Faro Airport, the different associations and organisms (hotels, etc.) and with the leading airlines operating in Algarve. Mr Fernandes declared, in a press release, that the operation should be simple. Several airlines are operating directly from Algarve to the UK, the Netherlands and Germany, which were the main markets served by the historic and demising tourism operator.
Estimates pointed that there were about 500 tourists left in Algarve with no transport back home, due to Thomas Cook collapse. Around 140 people flew home to the UK on September 25th, in a charter flight hired by the British government.
Not a relevant loss from a market point of view in Algarve
Its employees and their families will surely feel the beginning of a bankruptcy process for Thomas Cook. For the tourists who got “trapped” abroad, is undoubtedly a nuisance, compromising the tranquillity of their vacations. And in Algarve, the main hotel and restaurant association complained (as it should) about the business loss this would mean for the companies.
However, Mr Fernandes declared that Thomas Cook was presently responsible for just 0,2% of the number of tourists arriving in Algarve every year. The company had its own hotels in Algarve, but did not have them anymore – it was in the business of travel pack selling, only.
Thomas Cook was still relevant, with its operations throughout the world. However, the decline of Thomas Cook in Algarve, where British presence has been growing steadily over the last six decades, was a strong sign that the company had left its best years behind. Seen from here, this looks like the final episode of a long process.