Spanish hoteliers demand halt to Cook marketing deals

Benidorm and Costa Blanca hoteliers have asked their regional government to cease working with Thomas Cook in the wake of the operator’s decision to cut payments for August and September hotel bills by 5%.

Antonio Mayor, the president of the Benidorm and Costa Blanca Hotel Association (HOSBEC), has demanded that all local and regional government offices pull all joint marketing and co-operation agreements with the operator as the row over reduced payments continues.

He said: “In response to the unilateral decision by Thomas Cook of introducing 5% discounts, HOSBEC has asked all local and regional government offices to stop any joint marketing or co-operation agreement they may have established with this tour operator.

“We don’t know what the exact amount would be, but we know that, in general, the government of the Valencia region allocates around 3 million euros to promotion and joint marketing campaigns with tour operators, and part of that would have been allocated to a campaign with Thomas Cook.”

Mayor said talks were also under way with lawyers to represent the association’s members in court over the reduced payments, adding: “Practically all the hotels that have been affected by the Thomas Cook discounts are involved.”

“This strategy is not a specific action plan for Benidorm, but something that is being carried out at a national level.

“Hoteliers from Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Costa del Sol and Salou are also in support of taking legal action and calling for the relevant European authorities to act against Thomas Cook.”

A Thomas Cook spokesman said: “We continue to discuss the matter with hoteliers who largely remain positive about the move.”

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