British tabloids were on Monday full of stories of UK visitors who were planning to come to Cyprus and have now been left bereft, especially those planning to wed on the island.
Thomas Cook, in addition to other packages, also deal in the lucrative wedding market to Cyprus, which brought in millions a year to the industry. The annual number of marriages conducted in the tourism sector is estimated at around 7,500-8,000 per year.
The collapsed British airline on its former website suggests the best time to get married is spring or autumn to this would have been a busy time for weddings.
According to the British papers, one bride-to-be was ‘numb’ with worry as her £50,000 wedding hung in the balance.
Katy Williams had booked flights and accommodation for 48 people in Cyprus but feared her plans are now “in tatters”.
She told the Daily Mail: “It’s touch and go. I’m not sleeping. It’s horrible. I’m just numb.”
Williams, 33 is set to marry Peter Whyman on October 2, but say they could “lose everything” and are too scared to tell their children that the wedding may not go ahead.
Another woman, Lorna Clark, 33, and her fiance, Paul Ruckledge, who is in his 40s, were due to fly from Manchester to Paphos on September 30.
Clark’s sister-in-law Sarah Cooper, 35, told a newspaper, “She’s just in an absolute panic. There’s nothing we can do until we find out for definite if they’ve gone bust. It’s just horrendous really.”
Another couple also face losing thousands of pounds. Chloe Sharpe and Paul Kerfoot, both 27, spent £6,000 with Thomas Cook and another £9,000 on wedding extras.
“Our Thomas Cook wedding coordinator hasn’t got back to my emails. It’s very stressful for both Paul and I,” she told a newspaper.
“As it’s so close to going, it feels like we aren’t going to be able to get married. If they do go bust, we’d have to sort another wedding out. Cyprus means a lot to us emotionally.”
More than 50 guests were due to travel for the wedding, man of whom had also booked with Thomas Cook and if they lose their money, they cannot afford to rebook, reports said.