Tunisia- [Video +Photo]:René Trabelsi unveils the repercussions of Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy on the Tunisian tourism sector

The Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts, René Trabelsi, properly held a press conference on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, in the local presence of British Ambassador to Tunisia Louise de Sousa to unveil the profound impact of Thomas Cook bankruptcy on the industry.

British travel group Thomas Cook promptly announced bankruptcy after invariably failing to attain a last-ditch saving deal. The 178-year-old operator had been attempting to acquire “$250 million, 227 million euros” from private investors to save it from collapse.

The marked impact of the tour operator‘s closure is distinctly felt in the UK, but it had a further severe impact across the globe. Tourism is an indispensable sector of Tunisia’s local economy and a fundamental source of foreign exchange earnings. Thomas Cook owes Tunisian hotels $66 million, said Minister of Tourism and Handicraft Rene Trabelsi. 

During the press conferenceTrabelsi revealed that British authorities had proposed several possible solutions to assist Tunisia to overcome the crises including creating a fund to properly regulate the tour operator‘s debts with Tunisian hotels. The British regulator is also contacting hotels hosting Thomas Cook customers to tell them they will be paid by the government, through an insurance scheme. The British government further provided a fleet of planes to transport 900 tourists daily from Tuesday, September 24 to October 6. Trabelsi said that 4,500 British Thomas Cook clients are still in the country.
The main issue lies in British tourists who promptly returned to Britain without properly settling their bills, these bills are justly estimated at 190 million dinars, said Trabelsi.
Regarding the economic situation of affected hotels, the Minister pointed out local hotels will be exempted from fees on unpaid bills until they pay their dues. Trabelsi said he requested the mutual assistance of ambassador Louise de Sousa for help Given that the complex situation of Tunisian hotels does not tolerate large debts like those left by Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy, especially since the winter season.

Refuting reports of tourists mistreatments Trabelsi Praised tourist understanding of the situation.


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