Canaries in show of unity to combat Thomas Cook demise
Hoteliers and tourist chiefs in the Canaries have launched a major campaign to try and save the winter season and head off the potentially devastating effects of the collapse of Thomas Cook.
With all stranded Brits now repatriated to the UK, all efforts are being concentrated on filling the gap left by the demise of the travel giant and minimising job and income losses.
The Canary Government has already managed to fill 58 per cent of the tourist places affected and two million euros is to be ploughed into streng-thening the promotion of the destinastion.
Huge efforts are also underway to get more flights, not just because of the Thomas Cook situation but also in connection with Ryanair’s decision to close its Canary bases in January.
In Spain as a whole, it’s predicted that 600 hotels might have to close early because of the loss of customers and one hotel in Fuerteventura has confirmed this.
The Spanish Government will announce a raft of measures on October 11th to help businesses, including the availability of loans under a 20 million euro fund and the postponement of Social Security fees for one year for those companies that request it.
It’s considered that the Canary Islands and the Balearics, including Mallorca and Ibiza, might suffer the most. In Tenerife, the winter season is traditionally the busiest time of the year due to the good weather.
Minister of Tourism, In-dustry and Commerce of the Government of the Canary Islands, Yaiza Castilla has announced an additional 168,000 seats of JET2 for the winter season and 12,600 of Wizz Air.
She has thanked “each of the workers in the tourism sector in the Canary Islands, small and medium enter-prises, tourism employers, confederations of entrepre-neurs in the Canary Islands, the seven Cabildos, the associa-tion of tourist municipalities and the unions for the unconditional support shown in this hard stage that we have had to manage together.”
“The unity of action makes us stronger in the face of adversity,” she added.
Work is ongoing with the tourist employers Ashotel, Feht de Las Palmas, Asolan-Aetur and Asofuer; with the Confe-deration of Businessmen of Las Palmas and the CEOE of Tenerife, unions and the Advisory Council of the President so that “the tourist image of our archipelago is not affected”.
President of the hotel employers’ association Ashotel, Jorge Marichal said in an interview with Spanish news-paper Diario de Avisos: “We have the best acco-mmodation plant in the world but our problem is air connectivity. Thomas Cook brought 3.5 million tourists to the Canary Islands, on their own or on a carrier basis, and that is an important share of the total. Nobody talks about failing. We will move forward. And in terms of figures, there are 16 million tourists a year, fourteen of them international and two national. It’s not all bad.”