Specialist Leisure Group collapses into administration

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ShearingsImage copyright Richard Hoare/Geograph
Image caption Shearings Holidays is a part of the group

About 2,500 jobs have been misplaced and 64,000 bookings cancelled with the collapse into administration of Specialist Leisure Group.

The lodge and travel firm included well-known coach vacation manufacturers Shearings and National Holidays.

Trade organisation Abta mentioned the corporate, which specialised in merchandise for the over-50s, was “significantly impacted” by the coronavirus pandemic.

One lodge proprietor predicted its demise would depart “a void in the market”.

Abta mentioned the corporate had struggled to offer hundreds of refunds for cancelled journeys.

It added that the overwhelming majority of cancelled bookings had been coach package deal holidays, that are financially protected, and prospects with these bookings would obtain a full refund.

The Specialist Leisure Group, based mostly in Wigan, additionally operated Caledonian Travel and lodge companies comparable to Bay Hotels, Coast and Country Hotels and Country Living Hotels.

‘Gutted’

The agency mentioned on its web site that every one excursions, cruises, holidays and lodge breaks had been cancelled and wouldn’t be rescheduled, blaming the affect of the pandemic.

Employee Matthew Herbert mentioned he was “gutted” upon listening to the information.

“It’ll take a while for this wound to heal. To my colleagues, good luck, stay safe, stay strong,” he wrote on Twitter.

Richard Perry, who owns the Silversands Hotel in Blackpool, has labored with National Holidays and Caledonian Travel for 10 years and mentioned that they had been “very successful and brought lots of people” to the lodge.

Mr Perry mentioned he was owed £6,500 by National and would have “to look at our business model again as National supplied around 60% of our trade”.

He described the group’s collapse as “a great shame” and believes there “will be a void now in the market especially for pensioners who can no longer travel abroad”.

John de Vial, Abta’s director of membership and monetary providers, mentioned: “Today is a really unhappy day for these prospects and the hundreds of workers who may have misplaced their jobs.

‘Golden age of coach travel’

“The incontrovertible fact that two such well-known manufacturers with a loyal buyer base have needed to name in directors is a stark indication of the stress that the vacation business is underneath because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Abta has repeatedly highlighted to the government the urgency of the situation and the need to set out a co-ordinated strategy with clearer communication if it wants to help avoid significant job losses and support companies to weather the storm.”

Other coach corporations despatched messages of help.

Runcorn-based Anthony’s Travel mourned the lack of a agency mentioned in a tweet Shearings was “long-associated with the golden age of coach travel and UK tourism”.

Teesside-based Skelton Coaches urged the federal government to “help the coach and tour industry before it’s all gone”.