Belgian tourism faced a black day on Tuesday with the announcement that Thomas Cook was going bankrupt, operators have said.
“With the bankruptcy filing of Thomas Cook Belgium and Thomas Cook Retail, we are losing a major player in the market and an employer of many travel professionals,” Luc Coussement, president of the association of Belgian Tour Operators (ABTO), lamented in a press release on Wednesday.
“As a professional association of tour operators, we have called for calm so as to guarantee the best possible conditions for finding solutions for Thomas Cook Belgium, one of our biggest members,” Coussement added.
ABTO regrets that that has been unsuccessful for the whole of Thomas Cook Belgium, but remains hopeful for Thomas Cook Retail Belgium.
The association again emphasises that the Belgian consumer is protected but that the Travel Guarantee Fund asks tourists especially not to pay for their journeys a second time, as that runs contrary to national and international regulations. “This sum does not appear to be covered by insurance.”
ABTO is again calling for calm. “We ask the consumers concerned to address themselves to their travel agent, the internet site where they made their reservation or the Travel Guarantee Fund directly.”