How the Canary Islands are organised following the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook travel


For many countries, the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook voyages represents a real economic disaster. The Canary Islands, in particular, whose best tourist season is winter, must hurry to replace lost customers. We no longer even talk about unpaid bills but how to fill hotels this winter and especially how to preserve jobs!

Some hotels are almost empty

The Sentido Gran Canaria Princess Hotel has more than 400 rooms and has only 30 guests. From now on, hotel guests no longer need to book their sun loungers around the pool before having breakfast. This is just one example among many.

 » The Canary Islands, where the high season lasts from October to Easter, were the hardest hit by the drop, » says Francesco Moreno, communications manager of the Lopesan hotel chain, which manages 17 establishments in the Canary Islands.

25% of clients were from Thomas Cook

About 3.4 million per year, was brought to the Canary Islands by the British tour operator, according to the ASHOTEL Hotel Association and the FEHT Hotel Federation, indicating the extent of the problem.

While hoteliers know that other tour operators will replace Thomas Cook, the main concern remains air travel.

Air transport is a priority

It is obvious that air transport is of course important for islands but it is vital to attract tourists. The economies of these Spanish islands are based on tourism. At present, the Canary Islands would have managed to recover 58% of the lost seats, notably to and from the United Kingdom.

The Minister of Tourism of the Canary Islands concludes agreements with airlines

The Minister of Tourism, Industry and Trade of the Government of the Canary Islands, Yaiza Castilla (photo below), has reached an agreement with the British airline Jet2.com and TO Jet2holidays to launch more than 168,000 additional seats for the winter season (October to March). It is also announced 12 600 seats with Wizzair.

Incertainties with Ryanair

The Irish company announced this summer that it would close some ports of call, including several in the Canary Islands. The official reason is reportedly delays in aircraft delivery by Boeing.

However, at the same time, Ryanair had suffered several staff strikes. Last I heard, the low-cost airline could use Buzz, its Polish subsidiary, for the Canary Islands bases.

Government takes action to limit disaster

A plan is being developed to boost employment in the hotel and tourism sectors in the municipalities most affected by the Thomas Cook bankruptcy.

Aid of 300 million euros would have been planned for affected companies throughout Spain. The Ministry of Tourism of the Canary Islands should allocate two million euros to strengthen the promotion of the islands
Canary Islands on its main issuing markets.

German tour operators do not lose time

Even if the catalogues of the main German tour operators are already printed, they are trying to negotiate additional capacity.

Nothing but in Mallorca, TUI, DER Touristik, FTI, Alltours and Schauinsland have agreed with the hotel owners on the purchase of around 400,000 places for next summer.

In the Canary Islands, as well as in Greece, Turkey and Egypt, negotiations on Thomas Cook’s past capabilities are well advanced.

According to the Mallorcan daily newspaper « Ultima Hora », TUI negotiates 100,000 seats from the former Neckermann stocks in Mallorca.

In the TUI environment, 42 hotels are negotiated, which were previously exclusively under contract to Thomas Cook.
This is an increase in market share for existing TOs.

Serge Fabre





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