Wholesalers

Industry steps up to support agents and employees affected by Tempo and Bentours collapse

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

A swathe of travel companies have stepped up to provide support for travel agents dealing with the aftermath of Tempo Holidays’ and Bentours’ sudden collapse last week.

On 19 September, the wholesalers issued a joint statement advising the businesses – owned by Cox & Kings in India – had been placed into voluntary administration.

The announcement sparked industry rumblings about the future of Cox & Kings, with many predicting the 261-year-old company’s imminent demise.

Hurtigruten, Sun Island Tours and Greece and Mediterranean Travel Centre (GMTC) have already issued advice for affected agents here.

Yesterday, Abercombie & Kent’s APAC regional manager, Sujata Raman revealed the company is interviewing numerous people from Tempo and Bentours “who obviously were feeling uncomfortable about the way things were panning out”.

This week, the industry response is still going strong, with Hurtigruten issuing a second update, stating it has already responded to more than 1,000 inquiries and estimates more than 4,000 guests have been affected by the collapse.

“We know how stressful this situation is for people who had planned and booked a once-in-a-lifetime experience that may include Hurtigruten,” said Hurtigruten APAC managing director Damian Perry.

“And we are working around the clock to find travel solutions for those guests.”

The cruise line said agents and guests can now pay the balance of their Hurtigruten booking elements directly with Hurtigruten and the company will absorb the lost deposit and pursue those deposited funds through legal channels.

Those that have paid in full to Bentours are being assisted to secure their bookings and the line has confirmed it will not cancel any bookings without consultation with affected guests and/or agents.

“We are working closely with agents to investigate their options via the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) ACS chargeback scheme. We encourage protected agents to follow the AFTA guidelines and process to secure funds,” said Perry.

Beyond Travel Group has also offered assistance to employees of both collapsed companies, offering the possibility of future employment and to help clients.

The group said a dedicated speciality team of senior consultants has been created to assist bookings and quotes on all destinations that Beyond Travel cover with special NETT rates on existing bookings in Scandinavia, Croatia, Russia, Eastern and Central Europe, Turkey, Greece, India and Sri Lanka.

It also encouraged all effected staff from Bentours and Tempo to send their CV’s to jobs@beyondtravel.com.au.

Domus Australia, a guest house in Rome that is popular with Australian travellers, said it is currently holding direct bookings from Tempo and is trying to get in touch with agents.

Domus has advised any affected agents that have booked with them through Tempo to contact their Australian-based representative, Rebecca George, marketing@domusaustralia.org.



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