Turkey estimates Thomas Cook owes country’s tourism sector $164 million

Turkey’s Tourism and Culture Minister said on Wednesday that failed British travel company Thomas Cook owed the Turkish tourism sector 150 million euros ($164 million), state-run Anadolu Agency reported

Turkey’s Tourism Advisory Council, which includes members of Turkey’s tourism associations, said on Tuesday that Thomas Cook owed Turkey’s local sector more than 350 million euros ($381.08 million).

Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said his ministry believed the reports about the financial burden Thomas Cook’s sudden collapse last week had placed on Turkish tourism companies were exaggerated. 

“I am hearing some concerning figures, but as a ministry we are not concerned,” Ersoy said.

The ministry estimates that Thomas Cook had a turnover of 400 million euros ($438 million) in Turkey in 2019 until its liquidation and that the company has already paid some 250 million euro ($273.8 million) of this amount. 

“We calculate that there is a total outstanding debt of 160 million euros. If we assume that some 10 million to 15 million euros of this debt will be paid by guarantee funds, we think that the outstanding debt of Thomas Cook is around 150 million euro,” Ersoy said. 

The ministry has also devised an aid package for companies that were affected by Thomas Cook’s collapce. The ministry will start accepting applications from firms which want to benefit from the aid package on Friday, Ersoy said.