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Travel industry news

30 May 2019

BY James Chapple


Trade rallies in support of Holiday Place staff and clients

The trade has rallied behind staff and clients of The Holiday Place after the operator ceased trading on Wednesday (29 May).

Cuba 2.jpg

Trade rallies in support of Holiday Place staff and clients

Fellow Cuba specialist, Captivating Cuba, has offered to assist where possible, while Major Travel has also pledged its support.

News of the operator’s demise, after nearly 40 years in business, has sent shockwaves throughout the industry.

Many well-wishers took to social media to praise they company’s service and commitment to the trade over the years, while offering their support.

Captivating Cuba director Matthew O’Sullivan said: “The whole team at Captivating Cuba are desperately sorry to hear the very sad news that our long-standing friends and colleagues at Cuba Holidays/The Holiday Place have today ceased trading.

“We have worked alongside them in Cuba for decades, we know the team personally and are thinking of all their staff and customers affected.”

O’Sullivan said the operator had been “deluged” with calls asking whether it can assist by “taking over bookings and helping with arrangements previously booked with Cuba Holidays”.

“We are very sorry if we have not yet got back to you, we are a small team and are doing our utmost to respond and assist everyone as soon as possible,” he said.

He added any agents or customers facing difficulties or uncertainty caused by the collapse of The Holiday Place, or required advice with upcoming Cuba bookings, should get in touch.

“The easiest and fastest way for us to deal with your enquiry is if you can please send us an email with your current booking and the services that you need replicating or any advice you need or questions you have,” O’Sullivan added.

Major Travel also took to Facebook to express its dismay. “Really sad to hear about Holiday Place who have been our neighbours in north-west London,” read a post on the operator’s dedicated Major4Agents page.

“We are offering other travel agents who have active bookings to get in touch to see if we can help ensure their clients still get to travel.”

The operator added it was “doing its best” to rebook travellers to ensure they don’t lose existing bookings, while stressing Major would aim to assist any agents with active Holiday Place bookings to “ensure clients can still travel and not lose out on their holiday”.


Derek Jones, chief executive of Kuoni parent Der Touristik, told TTG the operator would be happy to assist Holiday Place customers "in any way we can".


Meanwhile, dozens of travel sector professionals have since left messages of support and sorrow on the TTG Facebook page.

Caroline Bentley-Showell of Travel Finesse said: “Very sad news. Always been a pleasure to deal with. Thoughts go out to all the team.”

Not Just Travel consultant Ushma Valerio added: “Wonderful Cuba product. Such lovely staff. Very knowledgeable and patient. I hope they are okay.”

The Holiday Place was set up in 1981 as a Caribbean specialist, with Cuba becoming its top destination from 1986.

The company later diversified to offer other destinations across the world, including Dubai, Egypt, Cyprus, Kenya and Mexico.

Trading names included Cuba Holidays, Dubai Direct, Egypt Direct, Go Dominican Holidays, Just Caribbean and Ocean Jewels, as well as The Fishing Place, Scuba Place and Holiday Place.

It also operated under a number of “Experience” brands, including The Cuba Experience, Cyprus Experience, Kenya Experience and Mexico Experience.

The CAA confirmed in a statement on Wednesday they company had ceased trading, adding it would be providing updates once it had spoken to the company.

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