Wed. Jan 22nd, 2020

The Government increases aid to the tourism sector to more than 700 million due to the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook

The Government has approved urgent measures to minimize the impact of the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, valued at more than 700 million euros, 500 million more than those initially announced and that correspond to a line of credit to finance projects that contribute to improving competitiveness.

The Council of Ministers approved on Friday the royal decree law that adopts actions that are intended not only to alleviate the effects of the insolvency of the British tour operator, but also strengthen the competitiveness of the Spanish tourism sector and its adaptation to new global market trends.

The credit line of up to 200 million euros, through the Official Credit Institute (ICO), intended to meet the financial needs of those affected, announced above, now adds another, up to 500 million, which will aim to financially support projects developed by tourism companies aimed at adapting and improving competitiveness, especially those that contain digitalization, innovation and modernization of services.

The execution of this last initiative will be channeled through the State Financial Fund for Tourism Competitiveness, FOCIT, (formerly the State Financial Fund for the Modernization of Tourism Infrastructures), attached to the Ministry of Tourism, and its financial administration. ICO will carry out.

Further, Canary and Balearic Islands will receive direct subsidies for amounts of 15 million and 8 million euros, respectively, in order to recover the loss of connectivity, consolidate diversification and improve the destination.

Social Security bonuses are extended in discontinuous fixed contracts to October and December 2019 and February and March 2020. Additionally, about 1.5 million euros will be allocated to Segittur, a subsidiary of Industry, to support the transformation towards Smart tourist destinations

The Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and the Autonomous Communities, will establish general information measures for companies that face the recovery of debts in insolvency proceedings of Thomas Cook companies.

Since it was learned that the British Executive was not going to rescue the tour operator, the Government has been studying measures that it can take "in terms of justice" to plead in favor of the interests that have been injured. These actions constitute the complement of those already adopted by the competent bodies in airports and air transport, aimed at ensuring air connectivity with the most affected territories. Aena will exempt airlines from 100% of the passenger fare on additional seats on international flights operating in the winter season (October 27, 2019 to March 28, 2020), with respect to those scheduled on August 31 of 2019. This will be applicable for the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands and represents a 38% reduction with respect to the landing and take-off rate (cost of stopover).

In addition, Enaire route fares will be reduced by more than 12% from January 1 at all airports managed by Aena, which will contribute to the acquisition of new airlines.

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