Online agents pounce for Holidays 4U customers

The collapse of Brighton-based specialist Turkey tour operator Holidays 4U prompted a scramble among UK online travel agents for its customers.

A1 Travel, Bookable Holidays, Lowcostholidays.com and On The Beach all flashed out Google ads offering the 60,000 customers who have lost their holidays the chance to rebook.

Online travel agents placed Google ads to capitalise on rebookings after the failure of Holidays 4U

Although many of those customers will eventually get their money back from the CAA thanks to the Atol financial protection regime, they will face a long wait as claims are processed.

In the mean time, those who do not want to miss out on their summer holiday this year will have to rebook. Agents seizing on the opportunity promoted low deposits and their protection promise.

Leading online retailer Directline Holidays said it was more important than ever that firms make sure customers’ money is safe.

And she said agents and operators should make sure their businesses are not too reliant on a single destination.

Although Turkey has been the rising star of the UK travel industry in recent years unsustainably low prices means margins are extremely thin.

Maria Whiteman, Directline Holidays chief executive, said: “Operators and agents that focus on just one country may be leaving themselves vulnerable to rapid shifts in the holiday market.

“Offering a breadth of destinations and holiday package options means they reduce the risk of exposure to currency fluctuations, civil unrest or natural disasters that influence booking behaviour.

“The sad news of another holiday company closure means we must continue to work hard as an industry to minimise risk and to let consumers know that their money, and holidays, are safe.”

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