The parent company of two well-known UK coach holiday operators has gone into administration, resulting in tens of thousands of customers’ trips being cancelled and more than 2,500 job losses.
Specialist Leisure Group operated several businesses that sold holidays and other travel arrangements, which have all ceased to trade due to the impact of COVID-19.
All tours, cruises, holidays, and hotel breaks booked with Specialist Leisure Group have been cancelled and will not be rescheduled, according to a statement on the company’s website.
Its collapse will come as a shock to many, with coach holiday specialist Shearings having been providing holidays to the UK public for over 100 years. Specialist Leisure Group also offered coach holidays through its National Holidays brand.
According to UK travel trade association ABTA, Specialist Leisure Group had over 64,000 bookings, the vast majority of which were coach package holidays through Shearings and National Holidays.
The company said its hospitality brands Bay Hotels, Coast & Country Hotels and Country Living Hotels will not reopen, and all of its Wallace Arnold Travel agencies are now permanently closed.
Commenting on the collapse of Specialist Leisure Group, John de Vial, director of membership and financial services at the ABTA, said: “The fact that two such well-known brands with a loyal customer base have had to call in administrators is a stark indication of the pressure that the holiday industry is under as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“ABTA has repeatedly highlighted to the government the urgency of the situation and the need to set out a coordinated strategy with clearer communication if it wants to help avoid significant job losses and support companies to weather the storm.”
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