Just as the holiday season begins and schools shut their gates for the summer break, two holiday companies, Late Rooms and Super Break have collapsed and stopped trading https://bbc.in/2yuDtmz.
Both companies are part of the Malvern Group. While most are covered in some form through ABTA, Atol or Credit Card protection, this still has a devastating effect, especially for the few that fall through the cracks and of course the employees of the business.
The world of travel and holiday bookings has transformed dramatically with the advent of the web and mobile technology. Sadly protection and related legislation has not kept pace. In this day and age there is no excuse for anyone being without protection. An urgent review of the sector is needed to make swift and significant reforms.
The insurance industry has a role to play here. The UK is the Global Centre for Financial Services and Fintech. Surely we can work out innovative ways to protect everyone?
As for the government, they should consider an early warning system, perhaps connected to companies house or HMRC to flag companies in danger. Below a certain threshold and before the receivers are called in, companies should be compelled to stop taking new orders or committing to new customers who are unaware of their imminent danger. As a minimum they should be duty bound to disclose their situation.
Crash landings of this kind are unwelcome and unnecessary. This, along with the fall in the value of the pound for overseas holiday makers, is not good news. It’s time for reform.
Steve Bernard e: [email protected] – Director