Travel Club of Upminster seeks financial advice

Travel Club of Upminster has approached insolvency practitioners Shipleys amid reports that it has failed to pay more than 20 hotels in Majorca for this season’s bookings.

An email seen by Travel Weekly reveals that chartered accountancy firm Elman Wall has been asked to assist in selling the assets of The Travel Club Limited and its subsidiary Austria Travel Limited. Elman Wall is acting on the instruction of Shipleys, referred to in the email as “proposed administrators”.

Travel Club of Upminster, founded in 1936 by Harry Chandler, was bought by Alpha Prospects last year.

Alpha Prospects also owned Unpackaged Holidays, which went into administration in March 2009 ahead of a pre-pack deal that saw it buy back the assets through Travel Club of Upminster.

Previously a direct-sell operator, Travel Club of Upminster pledged to start selling through upmarket independent agents after it was bought by Alpha.

Chartered accountancy firm Shipleys confirmed it had been approached for advice. Conrad Beighton, insolvency practitioner at Shipleys, said: “We are advising the directors on their options – we haven’t been appointed officially yet.”

Travel Club of Upminster director Tony Freudmann was unavailable for comment.

The news follows a report in Spanish paper Diario de Mallorca that at least 22 hotels, villas and apartments in Majorca have not received payment from Travel Club of Upminster recently.

Concerns about the operator have appeared on internet forum Puertopollensa.com.

One forum member, who appeared to be well informed, wrote: “They [the company] have two weeks to find a solution to this problem and clients due to arrive this weekend and next week have been advised of the difficulties.However, almost all of these bookings have decided to continue to travel this weekend and pay again for accommodation and claim it back on their return to the UK.”

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