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Chinese Company Buys Thomas Cook, Link for Chinese Tourists to Greece

Αssociated Press

FILE - Tourists take photographs as the ancient Acropolis hill is seen in the background in Athens (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)

With China’s presence rising in Greece, the Chinese investment company Fosun plans to build a Mediterraean tourist market for Chinese visitors, through Greece, after agreeing to buy 75 percent of the British travel company Thomas Cook’s tour operations and 25 percent of its airline business for 450 million pounds (497 million euros.)

The group’s creditors – banks and bondholders – will put up a similar amount to buy 25 percent of the tour business and 75 percent of the airline business with Fosun seeing a potential bonanza for China’s growing interest in Greece and the European Union.

Fosun is already in Greece as a partner in the plan to develop the abandoned Hellenikon International Airport on Athens’ coast, its ownership of Club Med and a minority shareholder in in the essentially bankrupt jewelry and fashion accessories firm Folli Follie.

The company said it wants to create local firms to market tourist destinations, including in Greece, and would hire tour guides and translators and and work closely with suppliers to upgrade its services.