The sales boss of failed operator Cuba Holidays has thanked agents for their “amazing support”.
The operator, which was part of The Holiday Place, ceased trading on Wednesday with 450 customers abroad and 2,500 forward bookings.
Alan Meadows, trade sales development manager, posted a message on Facebook: “So this is the end of the road for one of the best companies that I have had the privilege to work for. Amazing people, great friends who worked their socks off to provide an excellent service to our truly valued trade partners.
“From all the team thank you for your amazing support, to the team wow it’s been an honour and the messages from the trade over the past few hours shows how amazing you are.”
Agents have reacted with shock and sadness following the news on social media, while other operators have offered to re-book clients.
Sam Briggs of Avista Travel in Clitheroe was working at 10pm last night to re-book a couple who were due to go on a Cuba Holidays trip for their honeymoon in July.
Luckily, she found a Thomas Cook holiday with a similar itinerary for the couple.
“The customers were fine about it but they did ask me what would have happened if they hadn’t booked through an agent.
“I said they would have probably still been waiting to speak to someone. This is where agents shine.
“Alan was really well known and respected. It’s such a shame another operator has gone.”
The Travel Network Group said it had around 20 members impacted by the failure.
Vim Vithaldas, chief commercial officer, said: “Our thoughts and best wishes go to all our colleagues and friends within The Holiday Place business at this time.
“We have approximately 20 members impacted and 69 forward bookings. We are currently helping those members manage these bookings and communicating with their customers.”
Global Travel Group confired it had a small number of members affected.
Trade-only tailor-made specialist Major Travel said it is offering agents who have active bookings to get in touch to see if they can help ensure that their clients still get to travel.
Matthew O’Sullivan, director at Captivating Cuba, said the business had been “deluged” with calls to see if they can assist with re-booking customers.
“The whole team at Captivating Cuba are desperately sorry to hear the very sad news that our long-standing friends and colleagues at Cuba Holidays / The Holiday Place have ceased trading.
“We have worked alongside them in Cuba for decades, we know the team personally and are thinking of all their staff and customers affected.
“Since the news has broken, we have been deluged with calls on whether we can assist by taking over bookings and helping with arrangements that were previously booked with Cuba Holidays. We are very sorry if we have not yet got back to you, we are a small team and are doing our upmost to respond and assist everyone as soon as possible.”
Andrew Todd from Jetline Travel has offered Cuba Holidays staff to apply for jobs at the company.
“We are very sad to hear about the news regards The Holiday Place,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Jetline Holidays and Jetline Cruise are currently looking for experienced staff to join us at our head office in High Barnet or as homeworkers in the sales, product and marketing departments.”
London-based Cuba Holidays launched a campaign trageting trade sales in 2016 with the aim of filling a gap in the market left by Virgin Holidays.
It was owned by direct-sell operator The Holiday Place, which had been selling holidays to Cuba for 30 years.
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