11 August 2006

Tour Operator Collapse

It should be that only the bad and/or incompetent companies go under, but life's just not like that.

It was a shock to read that Tapestry Holidays, who for as long as I can remember have been operating really good 'away from the beaten track' holidays in Turkey (their speciality) and also Greece and Croatia (they also operated to Oman for a while), collapsed yesterday morning.

What a blow! Not just for the estimated 1500 customers currently on holiday abroad with Tapestry (who at least will be able to finish their holidays) and especially the thousands of customers with holidays booked who now won't be able to go, but also the staff.

I can think of a lot of tour operators I'd rather see disappear than Tapestry, and I'm clearly not alone. A number of agents, competitors and associates have been expressing their sorrow in the industry forums. It shows how well-respected and liked the MD Nick Wightman and his team of 30 staff are/were.

It also says a lot that in an interview with Travelmole, Nick Wightman praised the CAA for all their help (normally MD's complain bitterly that their company might have survived if only the CAA hadn't been so quick to call in their ATOL bond at the first sign of trouble) and praised his staff who have been coming in to the office despite holidays and illness to help sort out stranded customers.

What a real shame. With luck they'll all find new positions with other operators and maybe some parts of their programme will re-appear in other brochures. Let's hope so.

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