The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has vowed to fight a move by Thomas Cook to reduce payments by 5% for August and September arrivals.

Hoteliers in Spain, Greece and Malta initially spoke out about the 5% cut earlier this month, and it has now emerged that all destinations featured by Thomas Cook UK have been affected.

Hotels in Cancun and other Caribbean islands have been contacted verbally by the operator, which said the decision was necessary to recoup lost earnings from the ash cloud closures.  The CHTA said the operator had refused a request from affected hotels to notify them in writing. 

The CHTA said the Cancun Hotel Association had sent a letter to Thomas Cook Group chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa requesting that he scrap the plan . It threated to take legal action for “withholding funds agreed upon in signed tour operator contracts”.

The CHTA is polling its members to see how far the policy has spread and has advised its other member hotel associations to also write to Cook.

Director general of the association Alec Sanguinetti said: “We can’t have any company taking unilateral and unauthorised monetary deductions because they experienced a drop in their earnings, no matter how steeped in history and credibility they have accumulated over the years.

“Tour operator contracts have been negotiated and are currently in place. Contracts are to be upheld by both parties and when this breaks down unilaterally it undermines the entire contracting system.”

The CHTA is sending a letter to Thomas Cook on behalf of its member hotel associations expressing its concern. Earlier this week, spanish hoteliers vowed to take legal action if the operator did not back down.

A Thomas Cook spokesman confirmed that all destinations featured by Thomas Cook UK were affected by the move, and added: “Most hoteliers have given us positive feedback.”