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MyGuide Ireland Ceases Trading

MyGuide Ireland Logo & NI PhotoThe biggest online travel service provider in Ireland, MyGuide Ireland, has collapsed, and a liquidator is due to be appointed. The company blames this on the loss of important merchant accounts. This comes after the firm had expanded to a staff of 50 people at offices across west Cork and Boston. Fourteen of the employees, who have now lost their jobs, were based at offices in Skibbereen and Cork.

MyGuide Ireland (myguideireland.com) sold holidays to the country to tourists from the United States, Canada, England, Germany, France and Japan. The company was established in 1998 under the name 1 2 Travel by three friends – making over IR£1 million in first-year sales – and then merged with Crystal Travel & Tours in 2007. It saw 50% growth during the first nine years of operation and said in 2008 that it expected to bring 50,000 travellers to Ireland.

In a statement on its website, the company said that it regrets to advise customers that it has suspended its website’s trading activities after 13 years of operation. This is due to the impact that the loss of key merchant account facilities has had on cash flow.

The travel firm continued the statement, saying that it has been in negotiations for the last few months with interested groups who have a view to secure a new bridging finance and merchant provider. Management deeply regrets being unable to complete the negotiations within the time frame to allow the continued trading of the company. Directors have, therefore, decided to cease operations, and in the coming days, a liquidator will be appointed.

MyGuide Ireland added that customers with bookings that haven’t been fulfilled should still have their bookings honoured, but the supplier will have to be paid directly for the booking. The company also recommends that customers contact their credit card provider in relation to payments submitted to MyGuide Travel Limited. A spokesman couldn’t say if these customers would get their money back for cancelled holidays.

The travel firm also said that the 500 people currently travelling on a booking purchased through their services are able to travel home as planned. However, some parts of about 50 people’s trips could be affected, while the company is doing everything it can to help them. Any customers who have questions can phone a free, dedicated helpline – 1800-927313.

MyGuide Ireland is only the most-recent travel firm to collapse since the recession. In less than a month, UK-based Gill’s Cruise Centre, Dream Holidays and Holidays 4 UK Limited have ceased operations and called in administrators – leaving thousands of holidaymakers stripped of the trips they paid for, though most will be able to get refunds under the ATOL scheme. According to experts, these won’t be the last travel companies to lose the struggle in staying afloat during the current economic climate.

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