Enquiries from start-up companies on rise, says law firm

Law firm Travlaw has said enquiries from entrepreneurs to set up tour operators and travel agencies have soared this year despite the recession.

Practice partner Sarah Lacy said: “In the last two months we have been busy with travel start-ups. Interest is coming from people both with an established reputation in travel and [from] outside [the industry]. A number are privately funded, with clients looking to do something different with savings or redundancy payouts.”

Most entrepreneurs are aged 35 or under, with online travel agencies and specialist tour operations to specific geographic regions proving the most popular.

The impact of the ongoing Travel Republic case has meant entrepreneurs are keen to get advice on current issues relating to bonding, she added.

“The OTAs are being very clear about being agents in the traditional sense, while the operators are swallowing the extra burden of having to get an ATOL in their early years. We explain the uncertainties around the issue of bonding and that tends to prompt people into playing it safe,” added Lacy.

More information:

* How To: Using the law to survive the credit crunch (May 20, 2009)

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