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TAT to help tourists stranded by tour company collapse

Phuket tourism
Tourists in Phuket

The Tourism Authority of Thailand says it’s working with the government to help hotels affected by the collapse of the German tour operator FTI Group. In addition, the authority says it’s ready to help any tourists left stranded as a result of FTI’s collapse.

However, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, TAT deputy governor for Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas, says there have been no reports of stranded tourists to date. He says that following the FTI’s decision to file for insolvency on June 3, all departures after that date were cancelled.

Siripakorn says any hotels with guests who are unable to travel back home should advise the TAT so they can assist them. Meanwhile, the TAT continues to monitor arrivals from German markets and Siripakorn says the numbers are similar to May, at around 1,000 arrivals a day.

Tourism officials are focusing on assisting hotels affected by FTI’s insolvency, with Siripakorn pointing out that the German tour operator contributed over 100,000 bookings a year to Thailand. The Thai Hotels Association has already reported losses amounting to 111 million baht.

The Bangkok Post reports that customer payments for hotel bookings made through FTI are insured by the German Travel Security Fund. The TAT is now trying to establish how Thai hotels can receive payments for guests who have already finished their holidays and paid via the FTI Group.

The THA has also suggested that the TAT develop an alert system in the event of any future financial collapse of other European tour partners. Siripakorn says officials plan to monitor such incidents more actively, particularly given the important contribution of European operators to tourism in the kingdom since the pandemic.

“European travellers prefer booking hotels and flights via tour operators as their payments are protected by law, such as the GTSF. This trend is growing as tourists who booked individually had difficulties in receiving compensation from hotels in faraway destinations when they had to cancel their trips during the pandemic.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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