David Urquhart Travel is set to wind up its coach tour business over the coming months after failing to find a buyer for it amid the coronavirus crisis.
The decision was confirmed in a statement posted on the firm’s website on Wednesday (6 May), which stressed customer cash was safe and would be returned as soon as possible.
David Urquhart Sky Travel Ltd, which sells package holidays, city breaks and cruises, is unaffected by the decision and continues to operate and trade as normal.
"The ongoing coronavirus crisis has had a dramatic impact on all business sectors, but especially within travel and tourism," said the business. "At present, it is impossible to establish when coach tour and hotel operations will return to normal operating capacity.
"The directors of David Urquhart Travel Ltd have been carefully considering these matters and have made the decision, in the absence of acquisition from interested parties, to wind up the coach tour business in an orderly manner over the next few months."
An application was lodged on Monday (4 May) to enter into a company voluntary arrangement for David Urquhart Travel Ltd.
"This is not a decision which has been taken lightly," the statement continued. "The coach tour company has served loyal customers for more than 37 years throughout the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and Ireland and has been a prominent figure within the leisure and hospitality industry.
"However, we have to be responsive to the significant challenges the company would face if we were not to take decisive action."
The firm stressed "all customer funds are entirely safe", with deposits and payments are being held in an independent trust account. "It is our intention to begin the process of returning all customer monies as soon as possible. We will be in touch with every customer to confirm repayment details to them."
The business expects the refund process to get under way on 18 May and that it will take around two months to complete. Customers whose tours were cancelled in March will be contacted first, and the firm will then work through bookings in date order.