September 23, 2019 / 9:36 AM / 22 days ago

Cyprus says 15,000 Thomas Cook customers stranded on island

FILE PHOTO: The Thomas Cook logo is seen in this illustration photo January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration/File Photo

ATHENS (Reuters) - Up to 15,000 holidaymakers are stranded on the island of Cyprus after the collapse of British travel firm Thomas Cook, saddling hotels with millions in potential losses, the deputy minister of tourism said on Monday.

Thomas Cook arrivals to the island on a yearly basis topped 250,000 people, representing up to 6% of all arrivals. The island is also a popular wedding venue for Britons.

“We will work intensively .. I believe that a large portion of the arrivals we stand to lose will somehow be regulated by the market and other travel agencies,” said Savvas Perdios, deputy minister of tourism.

Cypriot hotels stood to lose an estimated 50 million euros ($55 million) owed by Thomas Cook, Perdios said. “I don’t think that it will be easy to recoup that money.”

The British High Commission (embassy) said it would have teams at the island’s two airports to facilitate Thomas Cook customers returning to the UK.

Reporting by Michele Kambas; editing by Jason Neely

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