UK travel giant Thomas Cook collapses, Goa set to feel pinch

More than 600,000 vacationers who booked through tour operator Thomas Cook were on edge Sunday. (AP Photo)

Tourist footfalls from the United Kingdom to Goa are expected to take a severe hit after British travel group Thomas CookNSE -2.65 % declared bankruptcy on Monday, an umbrella body of tour and travel operators said here.

The 178-year-old operator had been desperately seeking 200 million pounds ($250 million, 227 million euros) from private investors to save it from collapse, but a last-ditch rescue deal failed, triggering the UK’s biggest repatriation since World War II to bring stranded passengers.

“Around 30,000 Britons arrived in Goa during the last tourist season through chartered flights, majority of which were flown by Thomas Cook. The firm was was flying seven days a week with 300 seats per flight,” said Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) president Savio Messiah.

He added that British tourists were known for spending long holidays in Goa, with the average being 14 nights.

“The collapse of Thomas Cook in UK will result in more than 50 per reduction in their (British tourists) arrivals as other airlines would not be able to accommodated them now,” he added.

Chartered flights from the UK start arriving in Goa from November, and almost always the first one was operated by Thomas Cook, Messiah claimed.

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