Spain approves measures to mitigate effects of Thomas Cook bankruptcy

MADRID (Xinhua) – The acting Spanish government has approved a package of emergency measures to limit the effects of the collapse of British holiday operator Thomas Cook on the Spanish tourist sector.

Among the series of emergency measures approved last Friday that valued at about EUR800 million, EUR200 million have been designated to help affected Spanish companies, according to a communique by the Spanish Ministry for Industry Trade and Tourism.

A further EUR500 million have been set aside to improve tourism infrastructures, especially “digitalisation, innovation and modernisation of services.”

Acting Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo said the measures were “a reasonable response to help overcome the crisis and to guarantee employment and economic activity in a sector as important to our economy

as tourism.” Calvo also announced the granting of subsidies to the archipelagos of the Balearic Islands (east) and Canary Islands (south) worth EUR8 million and EUR15 million to recover, among other issues, the loss of connectivity.

Acting Minister for Industry Trade and Tourism Reyes Maroto explained the government had “worked intensely” to minimise the maximum possible the effects of Thomas Cook’s insolvency, and also to improve the competitiveness and adaptation of the tourism sector to the new global market tendencies.

The collapse of Thomas Cook last month left 150,000 – mainly British holidaymakers – needing to be repatriated and the cancellation of all future bookings with the firm.

About 7.1 million British tourists travelled to Spain using Thomas Cook’s services in 2018 and 4.72 million had done so in the first eight months this year.