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Thomas Cook Collapse: Useful Info for Hoteliers, Tourists in Greece

Following the domino effect of Thomas Cook’s collapse, the Greek Tourism Ministry on Thursday released an update regarding compensation procedures for the tour operator’s customers from the markets of Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium that are currently in Greece.

The ministry has sent the update, signed by Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis, to all regional tourism departments in Greece, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers and the Greek Tourism Confederation for distribution.

A. Thomas Cook Germany

Thomas Cook GmbH Germany filed for bankruptcy on September 25.

According to an official statement from the German Travel Association (DRV), the costs for the accommodation in Greece and the repatriation of the tour operator’s customers, will be covered by the Zurich insurance company, which covers clients of German insolvent companies.

Zurich will cover the accommodation and transport expenses (not airline flights) for customers only from Germany and that arrived at their destination by September 23 and are booked to depart by October 4. (After October 4, coverage is provided only if a departure flight cannot be found by this date.)

The coverage involves travel packages exclusively and not individual hotel, flight or room reservations.

It should be noted that if suppliers use a Zurich insurance package, no other financial claims can be made to Thomas Cook.

Flights

The bankruptcy of Thomas Cook Group plc in London also affected the business activities of German travel agents Thomas Cook, Neckermann, Oeger Tours, Air Marin and Bucher Reisen.

Like all other airlines, Condor has been informed by the aforementioned agencies that their customers may not be able to be transported (outbound flights) until September 26.

However, travelers that have booked Thomas Cook packages and are already at their destination will be able to board their scheduled return flights normally.

Interested parties are advised to contact travel agencies directly and be informed directly from Thomas Cook.

A hotline has been provided by the Zurich insurance company: 0049 6172-99761123. For more information, press here.

B. Thomas Cook Netherlands

Thomas Cook’s Dutch subsidiary has filed for bankruptcy and activated its insurance company to cover the accommodation and repatriation costs of its clients.

According to an official letter from TUI Nederlands dated September 24, following the suspension of Thomas Cook Nederland B.V. and Neckermann, the Dutch Guarantee Fund (SGR) and TUI Nederlands have guaranteed payments for any services provided to remaining Thomas Cook Nederland customers staying in hotels in Greece. The services to Thomas Cook Nederland’s customers will continue normally in accordance to their contracts.

The guarantees do not apply to any pending payments to customers who are no residing in hotels in Greece. Such requirements should be submitted to the Thomas Cook Nederland liquidator.

The letter from TUI Nederlands notes that because Thomas Cook Nederland’s customers are in need of immediate support, payments of claims cannot be executed immediately and will follow after Greek hoteliers send invoices for the services they have provided.

For more information, hoteliers can contact TUI Nederlands via email: TCsupplier@tui.nl.

C. Thomas Cook Belgium

Outdoor pool @ Cook’s Club.

Thomas Cook Belgium and Neckermann Belgium filed for bankruptcy September 24.

According to the Belgium Embassy, the Belgian Travel Guarantee Fund (Thomas Cook Belgium’s public insolvency insurer) officially announced that it will compensate Greek hoteliers for the costs of stay of Thomas Cook customers with bookings from September 24 and until their scheduled departure date. Payment will be made in accordance with the original contracts signed with Thomas Cook Belgium.

Hotline for Greek hoteliers

Greek hoteliers can get updates, information, and guidance on compensation procedures for Thomas Cook customers through a hotline set up by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels: 213-2169968 and 213-2169969.

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