Specialist Leisure Group Limited, which operated under brand names including Shearings, Bay Hotels, Coast & Country Hotels, Country Living Hotels and Wallace Arnold Travel, went into administration on 22nd May after failing to secure a rescue deal.
It is reported that the company had around 64,000 bookings at the point of collapse, with the majority being coach tours which are protected by the government-approved consumer protection scheme Bonded Coach Holidays (BCH). Customers should, therefore, be due a full refund.
The portfolio of hotels that were run by the company, and will now not re-open after the lockdown, includes major hotels in almost every seaside resort. Scarborough, Llandudno, Torquay, Exmouth and Eastbourne will be hardest hit, losing several hotels. 2500 workers, who had been furloughed under the government’s job retention scheme, have now been made redundant.
Shearings was the UK’s largest escorted tour operator, with roots in Oldham and Wigan in the early 20th century.
Other coach tour operators have also suffered severely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier in May, David Urquhart Travel announced it was going to wind down its coach tour business over the next few months and refund customers. The closure of the coach operator, which had been trading for 37 years, does not affect travel agency David Urquhart Sky Travel Ltd which sells package beach holidays, cruises and European city breaks, and will “continue as normal”.