Juan Molas, head of Spain’s Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation, told business daily Cinco Dias.
“There are 500 hotels which are going to close immediately due to the collapse of Thomas Cook and the situation could get worse if the government doesn’t take immediate action,” he warned.
He then said “And the sum in unpaid bills left by the demise of the tour operator would be much higher than the initial estimate of 200 million euros – It will be much more. The amount for only eight chains is close to 100 million.
Molas also said, “Of those hotels facing immediate closure, 100 were exclusively dependent on Thomas Cook, he said, while the rest counted on the firm for between 30 and 70 percent of their clients.”
The organisation that Molas heads represents 15,000 businesses.
The worst affected areas are reported to be the holidaying islands of both the Canaries and Balearic.
A good example of one hotel in Fuerteventura, the second largest of the Canary Islands, had recently undergone a 20-million-euro upgrade and was now faced with 700 rooms “which are going to be empty from October 7” and 200 employees it would be forced to dismiss.
Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto is to be presented with a put together emergency plan by the organisation at the next Spanish tourism board meeting on October 7th.
Molas then turned to the aviation industry saying “The busy season is starting and Thomas Cook had 30 percent of air capacity,”
His indication was towards the disappearance of the package holidaymaker, which could affect some 1.3 million airline seats, with Tenerife and Lanzarote being badly hit in particular.