Specialist tour operator and travel agency Tucan Travel has collapsed with the loss of nine jobs. Restructuring specialist firm Begbies Traynor has been appointed to oversee the winding down process.
Founded in 1987, London headquartered travel firm Tucan Travel operated group itineraries in the Americas, Asia, Africa, and Europe, as well as a tailor-made department, offering bespoke tours in Latin America, Asia and even Antarctica. However, like the rest of the UK’s tourist sector, it has seen its revenues ravaged by the Covid-19 crisis.
Tucan Travel suspended its tour operations in March 2020, but tried throughout lockdown to look after both staff and customers’ needs. Now, the company has finally had to admit this was no longer possible, and announced an immediate cessation of business. The firm is no longer accepting further bookings and customers with 850 existing bookings will not be able to travel as planned, while it is estimated roughly 700 customers’ travel arrangements will be affected by the demise.
Company CEO Matt Gannan stated, “This is a truly devastating day for the business and our thoughts are with our loyal, long-serving staff who will be losing their jobs… We have had to make difficult decisions to keep the business operational throughout the Covid crisis, including many staff redundancies and suspending tour operations in March last year… But with little prospect of a return to normal international leisure travel on the horizon, the challenge has sadly proven too great and, with a heavy heart, the decision was taken to place the company into administration.”
Tucan is expected to formally enter into administration by February 16 2021 – while the company’s Australian subsidiary, Tucan Travel, has also been placed into voluntary administration. The administration of the company’s remaining UK assets will be undertaken by specialists from Begbies Traynor.
Gareth Prince, Partner at Begbies Traynor’s Birmingham office, said, “It is always sad to see a once thriving business succumb to administration, especially when there are job losses involved. The travel industry has borne the brunt of the pandemic and despite taking a number of difficult decisions to mitigate the worst impacts of the crisis, the company has been unable to withstand overwhelming financial pressure.”
According to recent research, the pandemic may have long-term impacts on the leisure sector, with lockdown having permanently changed many features of consumer behaviour. For example, UK consumers still feel most uncomfortable about traveling by airplane and attending large events – while they are significantly less likely to venture further afield for holidays than before the crisis.