Hotel representation firm GP Associates will close at the end of the month after 27 years owing to the "catastrophic" effects of the Covid crisis on the travel industry.
Managing director Janine Glasspole confirmed the decision to wind the company down on Friday 30 July in an emotional and heartfelt post on LinkedIn on Thursday (15 July).
"It has been a wonderful journey made successful thanks to your support, which has given me and the team lifelong friendships we will cherish and be forever grateful for," said Glasspole.
"As you can imagine, I have not taken this decision lightly, as GP Associates has been my life and my family for so many years. During this time, it has been an honour and privilege to represent some of the world’s most iconic independent luxury hotels.
"The effects of the pandemic, particularly on our industry, has been nothing short of catastrophic. Regretfully, attempting to sustain the business as the pandemic extended into a second year has proved impossible."
GP Associates’ portfolio in the UK includes several London hotels, as well as Beaverbrook in Surrey and Gleneagles in Scotland. It also represents properties in another 14 countries across Europe, and in the US, Mexico, Caribbean, Brazil and Malaysia.
Glasspole paid tribute to what she described as her "exceptional team", some of whom have worked for the company for more than 15 years. "Their commitment, dedication and professionalism helped GP Associates to become recognised as the UK’s leading representation company," she said.
Reflecting on her own circumstances, Glasspole added: "During these challenging times, your priorities become clear, for me and my family especially my father who now needs my time and support. Although I truly love the industry and my business, it is time to put family first and for me to say farewell."
She added talks were under way to transition several hotels represented by GP Associates to Mason Rose, under the stewardship of chief executive and founder Tanya Rose and managing director Maria Pajares.