The sudden exit of Tempo Holidays and Bentours from the local market has prompted other travel companies to offer support for affected agents and clients.
Yesterday afternoon, the wholesalers issued a joint statement advising the businesses – owned by Cox & Kings in India – had been placed into voluntary administration.
“Tempo Holidays and Bentours (AUS/NZ) have been advised by Cox and Kings (India) that the company have been in recent weeks seeking investors/buyers with heavy interest,” the statement read.
“However, as this has not been materialised, as of today Tempo Holidays and Bentours are unable to continue operating in AUS/NZ.
The Cox & Kings India board is in the process of appointing an official administrator who will then co-ordinate with all the interested parties, according to the statement.
“While today the staff have been dealt with the devastating news, Tempo Holidays and Bentours staff will be working with respective agents/suppliers and clients to assist in next steps once confirmed,” it continued.
“It is understandably a sad day for all staff concerned along with trade. Tempo Holidays and Bentours have been wholesalers within AUS/NZ for over 30 and 40 years respectively, and have experienced great success and growth over recent years.
“We have had the pleasure in providing dream holidays for all of our customers. We are proud and thank all of our passionate and supportive staff for their contribution and dedication over the years.
“We also extend our deepest and sincere gratitude to all of our travel agents and trade partners for their loyalty and their continual support over the years.”
Brett Jardine, managing director of the Council of Australian Tour Operators, told Travel Weekly it was “incredibly disappointing to see this happening to brands that have been part of our industry for such a long time”.
“Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all the staff that are now adversely impacted,” he said.
Hurtigruten cruises booked for travel between October and December 2019 will be affected by the closure of Bentours, Tempo Holidays, and Cox & Kings. However, the company said it will not cancel any agent or client bookings without prior consultation.
Hurtigruten has also created a dedicated response page for enquiries about the Bentours collapse relating to bookings with the cruise company.
“Hurtigruten will work closely with agents and clients to offer travel solutions and alternatives arising from the Bentours, Cox & Kings and Tempo Holidays collapse,” Damian Perry, managing director of Hurtigruten for the Asia-Pacific, said.
Sun Island Tours, which operates in similar destinations and works with similar suppliers as Tempo, said it was committed to helping affected agents and their clients with any fulfilment needs.
“Tempo is a well-respected operator in Australia and we are saddened by this unfortunate news,” Sun Island Tours general manager John Polyviou said.
“We recognise and understand the difficulty the team at Tempo and the affected agents are experiencing, and we are here to help in any way we can.”
Greece and Mediterranean Travel Centre (GMTC) is offering support to agents who have clients with travel plans via Tempo to Greece, Italy, Egypt, Croatia, Turkey, Spain, Israel, Jordan, Europe, and Morocco.
GMTC will also be open this Saturday to support any enquiries.
Halina Kubica, managing director of GMTC, reiterated the importance of booking with an ATAS-accredited operator.
“We are proud to support AFTA’s ATAS scheme and be a CATO member, providing our travel agents and their customers peace of mind,” she said.
“Our priority is the client and ensuring they are delivered the holiday they expect,” she added.