800 FTI tourists stranded in Cyprus

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Some 800 tourists remain in Cyprus and await news about their return home after Germany’s third largest tour operator, FTI Touristik GmbH, announced insolvency proceedings on Monday.

FTI Touristik is part of the FTI Group active in Germany, Austria, Holland, Switzerland and Poland.

Philokypros Rousounides, director general of the hoteliers’ association PASYXE, said that FTI cooperated with 160 hotels on the island, but that the company’s bankruptcy will not have a significant impact on the market, despite its share of 30,000 bookings a year, out nearly 4 mln arrivals.

He added that the stranded holidaymakers are covered by a special fund and will not need to pay more to return home.

“However, Germany was a market we were targeting for an increase in tourist arrivals this year,” Rousounides said, having already lost holidaymakers during the past year from Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel, because of the ongoing wars in these countries.

According to news reports, the German Foreign Ministry said that the tourism industry and the German Travel Security Fund (DRSF) will manage the repatriation and support of affected tourists, providing consular support if needed to ensure their safe return.

In April, a consortium of investors stepped in after a prolonged and intricate process that started prior to the coronavirus pandemic that impacted travel, airline and cruise companies around the world.

However, despite last-minute efforts, bookings underperformed.

Cyprus’s Deputy Minister for Tourism, Costas Koumis, said that, “this is definitely a negative development for the tourism of our country, as it comes at a time when we were trying to strengthen the German market and additionally because every loss now counts due to the pressures that the hotel industry receives more broadly.”

“The volume of losses in terms of total arrivals for the tourism of our country is not particularly large. But it is certainly a serious loss for the hotel companies that had cooperation with this tour operator,” Koumis said.

A support website has been established at www.fti-group.com/en/insolvency, along with a hotline at +49 (0) 89 / 710 45 14 98, with all relevant information available in both German and English.