Thailand cuts tourism arrival goal after Thomas Cook collapse

Thailand Cuts Tourism Arrival Goals After Thomas Cook Collapse

Thailand’s tourism authority is reassessing its overall arrival target for this year after the demise of UK travel giant Thomas Cook, particularly with regards to the number of British and Scandinavian visitors. Last year, around 954,000 travelers from Britain visited Thailand and some 600,000 from Scandinavian countries.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said TAT is set to discuss the impact from the closure of the travel firm with domestic tourism operators and hoteliers before releasing a new projection. He, however, estimated that the Thai tourism industry may lose some 120 million baht ($3.93 million) from the UK market alone in the remainder of the year.

There is currently a repatriation of British tourists overseas, some 150,000, back to the UK following the collapse of Thomas Cook. In Thailand, TAT is working with the British embassy and other destination management companies.

Meanwhile, confusion reigns as some hotels are charging Thomas Cook customers before they are allowed to check-out, fearful they would not be paid.

Hoteliers say there was still a lot of confusion about who is responsible for payments of existing customers and contractors as they work through the web of agents, insurance companies, tour companies and hotel contracts.

Industry experts say that the impact on Thailand might be significantly higher than what can now be assessed since it is not clear how many subsidiaries of Thomas Cook will be carried down by the parent company’s collapse.

For instance, Thomas Cook Germany and its Austrian unit have already field for insolvency and Thomas Cook France is seeking creditor protection. The future of the Dutch and Belgian branches is uncertain, as are the prospects of Thomas Cook’s branche in China. Thomas Cook’s Polish arm Neckermann has also declared insolvency, while there are reportedly efforts underway to seek investors for Neckermann Hungary, Czech Republic and Switzerland, as well as the units Öger Tours, Air Marin and Bucher Reisen.

Russian tour operator Intourist, in which Thomas Cook owns a 50.1 per cent stake, said it was not affected. Likewise, the Indian unit of Thomas Cook, which only uses its name, but is owned by Canadian investment company Fairfax Holdings, says that the collapse of the UK travel company will not affect it. However, the negative press associated with Thomas Cook may force the Indian company to change its name.

Thomas Cook’s Scandinavian operations that include Ving, Spies, Tjäreborg and Globetrotter have temporarily halted operations but so far did not file for bankruptcy. Ving, which has branches in Norway and Sweden and offers package tours with Thai Airways, among others, said it will reimburse customers in case their tickets were cancelled or hotels refuse to accept their vouchers.

Thomas Cook Destination Management (Thailand) Ltd., which registered a year ago and has operational offices in Bangkok and Phuket, said it will continue to handle Thomas Cook clients from Scandinavia and other countries.

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Thailand’s tourism authority is reassessing its overall arrival target for this year after the demise of UK travel giant Thomas Cook, particularly with regards to the number of British and Scandinavian visitors. Last year, around 954,000 travelers from Britain visited Thailand and some 600,000 from Scandinavian countries. Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said TAT is set to discuss the impact from the closure of the travel firm with domestic tourism operators and hoteliers before releasing a new projection. He, however, estimated that the Thai tourism industry may lose some 120 million baht ($3.93 million) from the UK...

Thailand Cuts Tourism Arrival Goals After Thomas Cook Collapse

Thailand’s tourism authority is reassessing its overall arrival target for this year after the demise of UK travel giant Thomas Cook, particularly with regards to the number of British and Scandinavian visitors. Last year, around 954,000 travelers from Britain visited Thailand and some 600,000 from Scandinavian countries.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said TAT is set to discuss the impact from the closure of the travel firm with domestic tourism operators and hoteliers before releasing a new projection. He, however, estimated that the Thai tourism industry may lose some 120 million baht ($3.93 million) from the UK market alone in the remainder of the year.

There is currently a repatriation of British tourists overseas, some 150,000, back to the UK following the collapse of Thomas Cook. In Thailand, TAT is working with the British embassy and other destination management companies.

Meanwhile, confusion reigns as some hotels are charging Thomas Cook customers before they are allowed to check-out, fearful they would not be paid.

Hoteliers say there was still a lot of confusion about who is responsible for payments of existing customers and contractors as they work through the web of agents, insurance companies, tour companies and hotel contracts.

Industry experts say that the impact on Thailand might be significantly higher than what can now be assessed since it is not clear how many subsidiaries of Thomas Cook will be carried down by the parent company’s collapse.

For instance, Thomas Cook Germany and its Austrian unit have already field for insolvency and Thomas Cook France is seeking creditor protection. The future of the Dutch and Belgian branches is uncertain, as are the prospects of Thomas Cook’s branche in China. Thomas Cook’s Polish arm Neckermann has also declared insolvency, while there are reportedly efforts underway to seek investors for Neckermann Hungary, Czech Republic and Switzerland, as well as the units Öger Tours, Air Marin and Bucher Reisen.

Russian tour operator Intourist, in which Thomas Cook owns a 50.1 per cent stake, said it was not affected. Likewise, the Indian unit of Thomas Cook, which only uses its name, but is owned by Canadian investment company Fairfax Holdings, says that the collapse of the UK travel company will not affect it. However, the negative press associated with Thomas Cook may force the Indian company to change its name.

Thomas Cook’s Scandinavian operations that include Ving, Spies, Tjäreborg and Globetrotter have temporarily halted operations but so far did not file for bankruptcy. Ving, which has branches in Norway and Sweden and offers package tours with Thai Airways, among others, said it will reimburse customers in case their tickets were cancelled or hotels refuse to accept their vouchers.

Thomas Cook Destination Management (Thailand) Ltd., which registered a year ago and has operational offices in Bangkok and Phuket, said it will continue to handle Thomas Cook clients from Scandinavia and other countries.

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