Astral Holidays International, an official representative of bankrupt UK tour operator Thomas Cook, said it has filed for bankruptcy starting from October 7.
This is the largest tour operator in Bulgaria and the first to be forced to end operations after 24 years on the market, following Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy last month.
Astral Hollidays said that it will compensate its clients through an insurance contract with Uniqa Bulgaria worth BGN700,000 (€357,900), but will be unable to carry out future travel arrangements for its customers.
Rumen Draganov, head of the Institute for Analysis and Assessment of Tourism, said that Bulgaria’s tourism sector will lose around BGN100mn (€51.1mn) following Thomas Cook's bankruptcy.
The estimated BGN100mn loss includes the revenues of hotels, as well as of air carriers due to cancelled flights. Also, contracts for next year will be cancelled.
In Bulgaria, 48 hotels have contracts with Thomas Cook, but the exact number of those affected by the bankruptcy is yet to be estimated.
According to Konstantin Zankov of the Institute for Analysis and Assessment in Tourism, other tour operators as well as hotels in Bulgaria might also go bankrupt.
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