Thomas Cook, the Anglo-Saxon tourism giant, one of the world's largest operators, has collapsed financially and could be intervened by the British government in an attempt to save over 9,000 jobs in the UK and secure the plight of 150,000 British tourists. who are on holiday all over the world including Portugal.
For the time being Thomas Cook has declared bankruptcy after having delayed repayment of several series of bond loans thus defaulting.
The UK has already launched the largest peacetime national repatriation operation to return the 150,000 tourists in the event of a Thomas Cook collapse. In Greece alone there are 50,000 Thomas Cook customers. In Portugal a few thousand.
Thomas Cook hotels, hotel establishments, airlines, suppliers, banks, bondholders and other partners risk being unpaid, which could launch a tourism crisis in the countries most exposed to Thomas Cook.
In several countries some hotels are not letting tourists out before being paid by Thomas Cook, which has left these travelers on the verge of a nervous breakdown as they have already paid for their holidays in their homeland.
Thomas Cook, founded in 1841, serving tens of millions of customers annually, is a diverse tourism group owning hotels, an airline with 150 aircraft (much larger than TAP), travel agencies that channel millions of tourists to a large number of partners worldwide. Its annual sales amount to £ 9.6 billion.
In terms of hospitality alone, Thomas Cook has 8 brands and over 200 hotels spread across 47 countries offering a total of 38,000 rooms. It is among the largest hotel operators in the world.
In Portugal, besides the multiple partnerships, it has 2 hotels with its brand. It should be noted that Thomas Cook as a tourist agent channels thousands of English and other national tourists to Portugal each year. All markings are now compromised.
Fosum, Millennium bcp's benchmark shareholder, was heavily involved in Thomas Cook's recapitalization efforts and risks suffering heavy bankruptcy losses. Guang Chang Guo himself is Thomas Cook's largest shareholder owning 15% of the company's shares.
A bankruptcy with serious, more or less violent shockwaves coming to Portugal. The excessive openness to foreign countries, the dependence on foreign companies is a strong weakness of the Portuguese economy and the tourism sector in particular. May the lesson be learned.