Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Thomas Cook bankruptcy strands travelers in Mexico

Hundreds of travelers have been stranded at the Cancún airport after the collapse of the British travel agency Thomas Cook.

No other country in Europe sends more tourists to Mexico’s Caribbean coast than the United Kingdom, and it is only surpassed worldwide by the United States and Canada, according to figures from the Secretariat of Tourism.

And Thomas Cook sent the majority of those tourists, said Darío Flota, director of Quintana Roo’s tourism promotion board.

“The impact is going to be very powerful, and it will take some time to recover,” he said in an interview on Radio Fórmula.

In addition to stranded travelers, Flota said the bankruptcy will also leave large amounts of debt in the area and cost many tourism sector jobs.

Cancún’s airport was crowded with over 300 desperate tourists trying to make their way home after the company’s airline canceled its two scheduled flights for Monday, one to London and the other to Manchester.

The British Embassy in Mexico City sent staff to Cancún to help rebook travelers on a different flight to Manchester, but even they weren’t happy with the situation.

“We were supposed to fly to London, but now we’re going to Manchester, so I’m going to miss my connecting flight to Ireland,” a redirected traveler named Jordan told the news agency AFP.

“That’s what they told us in the hotel, but I have no idea. At least I didn’t have to pay anything.”

Another traveler named Matt said he couldn’t believe what was happening.

“We need to get home. It’s a big travel company. They’re everywhere,” he said, though he still could see the bright side.

“But at least we had a holiday. Some people won’t.”

Among the desperate, stranded travelers were families with tired children, students worried about missing classes and employees concerned with getting back to work.

In 2018, the U.K. sent 590,000 tourists to Mexico, and 77% of those visited Cancún, according to the Secretariat of Tourism.

Sources: Yahoo! News (en), Animal Político (sp)

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