Creditors owed money by collapsed Seligo parent company Unpackaged Holidays are calling for the immediate resignation of ABTA director Steven Freudmann.
Elite Vacations is owed $47,000 and Lowcost Travel Group is owed £25,000 in past debts and £54,000 in forward bookings relating to bookings through its transfer subsidiary Resorthoppa.
Freudmann was a director of Unpackaged Holidays until last week and remains a director of Alpha Prospects, which has an option to buy Seligo’s new parent company The Travel Club of Upminster.
Administrators have confirmed it is unlikely unsecured creditors - mostly suppliers - will be paid following the collapse of Unpackaged Holidays, which traded as bed bank Seligo, and the subsequent pre-packaged sale of its assets.
Elite Vacations complained to ABTA in October after Unpackaged Holidays failed to pay monies owed last summer. This led to a code of conduct committee hearing, in which Unpackaged Holidays was fined £2,000 and told to repay Elite Vacations by paying $13,000 each month.
Unpackaged Holidays appealed against the decision, as exclusively revealed by Travel Weekly, but the hearing was delayed by the snowy conditions in February.
The new hearing, due to be held today, Thursday March 19, did not take place following Unpackaged Holidays’ decision to withdraw its ABTA membership and its subsequent collapse.
Elite Vacacations sales and marketing manager Rob Dempster said the company had received the first $13,000 in January but had contacted ABTA after it did not receive further payments in February or this month.
Dempster added it had failed to get a response from Unpackaged Holidays or from ABTA in relation to the outstanding debts earlier this year. He added: “We had taken comfort from the fact that one of the directors was on the ABTA board. We think this is immoral and makes a mockery of ABTA. We will put in a formal letter of complaint to ABTA.”
Lowcost Travel Group chief executive Paul Evans added: “We will be calling for Mr Freudmann to resign.”
Freudmann could not be contacted by Travel Weekly for a response. However, Freudmann’s brother Tony, who is a director of The Travel Club and was also director of Unpackaged Holidays, said: “I do not think there are any grounds for his resignation. The business has failed in difficult times and steps were taken to protect customers and staff, which was the best outcome in the circumstances.”
He added that the financial “pain” had been shared, pointing out that Steven remained a director of Alpha Prospects, which stands to lose around £500,000 in loans it paid to Unpackaged Holidays.
ABTA would not comment at this stage but said any calls for Freudmann’s resignation would be discussed by the board.
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