Tui is reported to be involved in a stand-off with Greek hoteliers over a delay to its payment schedule.
The company issued a series of contract amendments this month that require hotel owners to wait until March 2021 for three-quarters of the money due to them for stays made this year, the Financial Times reported.
The payments, usually made 60 days after departure dates, amount to several hundred thousand euros for many hotels – funds needed to see them through the winter.
Two hoteliers said that they are owed more than €600,000 each by Tui and would have to secure bank loans in order to survive if the company did not pay the full amount due this month.
Tui told the newspaper that it had “made a significant amount of advance payments to hoteliers for summer 2020, a large percentage of which remains outstanding” and that it had contacted “a small percentage” of hoteliers in Spain and Greece, two of its biggest markets, “to discuss payment plans and jointly review options”.
Tui works with 1,400 hotels in Spain and more than 2,000 in Greece.
Greek hoteliers are owed more money by the company as the country was deemed safe for travel by the UK government for a longer period.
Nektarios Santorinios, an MP from Rhodes, reportedly said that the delay had been a “bombshell” for hotels: “They took a big risk opening this year given the pandemic and many have racked up losses. It’ll be a struggle to survive for many three- and four-star operations.”
Santorinios and another 34 lawmakers from the leftwing Syriza party wrote to the Greek parliament last week, urging the government to press Tui to reverse its decision.
Greek tourism minister Haris Theocharis said the government was “monitoring the situation closely” and that it hoped to secure additional EU support for the country’s tourist industry, which accounts for about 18% of its gross domestic product.
Tui was reported by Reuters earlier this week to be looking to secure up to €1.8 billion extra from the German government on top of more than €2 billion already received in state-backed loans.
It is also considering an equity increase or disposals to raise extra cash.