The Spanish government is confident of filling capacity lost in the Thomas Cook collapse for next year’s summer period and has passed legislation to mitigate the impact on tourism businesses in the interim.
Speaking at WTM, secretary of state for tourism Isabel Oliver said 15 million euros had been made available to tourism businesses in the Canary Islands, with 8 million euros provided in the Balearics. A further 200 millions euros has been provided in credit lines, and the government has earmarked 500 million euros to helps small and medium-sized tourism businesses find new routes to market post-Cook.
Overall tourism numbers from the UK for the eight months leading to the Cook collapse were 14.8 million, a 1.6% reduction on the same period in 2018, but expenditure was 1.2% up at 14.7 billion euros.
Oliver said: “Thomas Cook came as a huge shock for the Spanish tourism sector. In the Balearic Islands many hotel builds were left outstanding and that has led to some insolvencies, and in the Canary Islands the impact was more directly on capacity as we approached the winter season.
“But the government has acted decisively and implemented legislation to mitigate the effects.”
She added: “Other travel companies have absorbed much of the capacity, which is positive. Within a month there was a 90% recovery in the Canaries.
“Spain still has a strong appeal for the UK market and the quick reaction gives me confidence that we will see a strong return next year.”