The collapse of the venerable British travel group Thomas Cook in 2019 will not affect tourism to Greece this year, said Greece’s Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis on Thursday.

The minister said in an interview that the collapse of Thomas Cook coincided with the accession of the new government under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in July last year. At the time the cost of the travel company’s collapse was estimated at 500 million euros. Tourism accounts for about 25 per cent of Greece’s gross domestic product.

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Mr Theocharis said new contracts had been found by the country’s tourism sector and that new travel slots had been created.

“Despite the ups and downs, the surprises and the hurdles, 2019 rewarded us with a positive result. We are in a position to envision a new year with optimism that Thomas Cook has not left its mark,” he told Reuters.

The minister said that the target was “an annual one-digit rise in arrivals and a two-digit increase in revenue”.