The Co-op Travelmaker will not survive the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been revealed, as the business is facing "unsustainable" losses.
Travelmaker will close at the end of January, with four staff members in Guernsey and eight in Jersey set to lose their jobs as a result.
Co-op CEO Mark Cox said the travel arm of the Society has been hit especially hard by the pandemic, which has all but shut down non-essential travel. No new bookings are being accepted, however we are told that all of Travelmaker's existing bookings will be honoured and remain unaffected by the closure.
“Having conducted a strategic review of our Co-operative Travelmaker business and given the negative and protracted impact that Covid-19 has had on the travel industry globally, we have made the difficult decision to exit our travel business and subsequently the Co-op Travelmaker will close on Sunday 31 January 2021," said Mr Cox.
"We have made every possible attempt to avoid this closure, however we are unable to sustain the level of losses incurred by this strand of the Society."
If you're thinking about 2021 holiday plans already (and who isn't?) why not treat yourself to a bit of luxury on your...Posted by Co-operative Travelmaker on Wednesday, 14 October 2020
Pictured: Travelmaker was planning for the future until recently.
"All affected colleagues in Jersey and Guernsey have been told and are currently being supported. They have been given the option of redeployment within other areas of the Co-op business, or the option of redundancy."
Mr Cox said there are "advanced discussions" about a possible takeover of a Jersey travel branch and that his team are supporting other colleagues to potentially set themselves up as personal travel agents under Midcounties Co-operative Travel.
All existing bookings remain financially protected by the society's ABTA bonding.
"We will continue to assist customers with any confirmed travel bookings and provide the necessary support for any recently cancelled holidays due to Covid-19 that are still awaiting a refund from the tour operator or travel provider," said Mr Cox, who played down any concerns about the wider business.
"Despite the challenges faced during the Covid19 pandemic, we want to reassure our valued customers that your Society is a strong business and we remain focussed on working to develop our core food, pharmacy and funeral businesses.”
Travel vouchers can be redeemed in Co-op food stores. Any customers with questions about vouchers, credit notes or a holiday that they already have booked should contact Travelmaker directly at email@example.com or call 201250.
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