50,000 Travelers Stranded in Greece as UK Firm Thomas Cook Collapses

September 23, 2019

Greek authorities said Sept. 23 they were working to get some 50,000 tourists back home after they were stranded, mostly on islands, after the collapse of the major British travel firm Thomas Cook that had been battling financial problems. Up to 30,000 people stuck in Spain’s Canary Islands; 21,000 in Turkey and 15,000 in Cyprus.

A Tourism Ministry official told the news agency Reuters that the tourists, mainly British, were vacationing on the popular destination islands of Zakynthos, Kos, Corfu, Skiathos and Crete. “The top priority now is to get them back home,” the official said, declining to be named.

Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis then stepped in and told SKAI TV that the first 22,000 are to be repatriated over the next three days, the minister said, adding that aircraft were to arrive on the islands where they were waiting,  organized by Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Some 20,000 of the Thomas Cook customers in Greece are on Crete, said Michalis Vlatakis, the head of the island’s union of tour operators, who described the collapse of Thomas Cook as a “7-magnitude earthquake,” adding that the local tourism sector was “waiting for the tsunami.”

Thomas Cook, one of Britain’s oldest companies, ran hotels, resorts and airlines for 19 million people a year in 16 countries and the instant downfall would hit Greek hotel owners hard because most of the vacation deals weren’t prepaid.

“The situation is quite difficult. It does not affect just British tourists but other nationalities as well,” Grigoris Tassios told state TV ERT, adding that many hotels were expected to make losses on payments affecting vacation packages for the last two months, meaning “many millions of euros” would be lost.

“Up to October 15 there are high occupancies, so we will suffer losses from this segment, too,” Tassios said, adding that the hotels would go to the courts trying to get money from Thomas Cook if there’s any left after its collapse.


ATHENS - What's due to be a record-breaking tourist year in Greece in 2022 despite the waning COVID-19 pandemic will be extended into the winter and become a year-round attraction, with Austrians, Germans and Swedes especially keen oncoming.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


After Amazon, Google’s First Cloud Region Coming to Greece

ATHENS - Despite having a costly Internet that’s the slowest in the European Union, Greece is continuing to attract high-tech giants, with Alphabet’s Google planning to create its first cloud region in the country.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.