Thomas Cook Hits Almuñécar

Playacálida,TaramayWhen people heard that the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook had provoked the largest repatriation to the UK since WW2, everybody was gobsmacked.

We knew that this venerable (probably the first ever) travel agency was big… but that big?

Of those 150,000 stranded Brit tourists around the world, 60,000 are in Spain. But that’s just the Brits because the total amount of stranded tourists around the world is closer to 600,000 tourists. That’s the size of Napoleon’s Grande Armée that invaded Russia in 1812 and he left quite a few Frenchmen stranded over there, too!

Well, the disaster has reached Almuñécar, amongst other holiday destinations all over the world with 160 tourists (mainly French and Belgian) losing their package tour deal at Hotel Playacálida.

The hotel, belonging to the Senator chain, has consequently acquired a debt of 2m euros and is studying the situation and the best way to avoid losing that much money.

The hotel is charging the stranded tourists a minimum charge for the room and will maintain as many services as possible but in the meantime all the excursions within the package have been cancelled.

The Chairman of the Asociación Hoteleros de la Costa Tropical, Jesús Megías, considers that the ones who have really lost out are the hotels as the defunct Thomas Cook has left Almuñécar with 350 over-night stays a week fewer.

He says that company had reserved 50 rooms in Playacálida (Taramay) under the terms of a deal. The tour operator sends the tourists to hotels but only pays every 90 days, so that money has been lost, which is the case of the 160 tourists stranded here at the moment.

The other hotel belonging to the same chain, Hotel Playa Almuñécar, has not been affected as no individual deal was struck with them.

But the knock on effect is considerable: coach companies, taxis – you name it.

(News: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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