After collapsing amid the coronavirus pandemic, a Scottish hotel and tour operator is cutting 100 jobs.
David Urquhart Group is making 54 staff redundant at its coach tour business, David Urquhart (Travel) Ltd. The group also own Hart Hotels, where a further 56 jobs will be lost. Just a small number of jobs will remain for security and maintenance purposes, as well as leading any viewing of the properties during the sales process.
With debts rising, the group has put three of its hotels up for sale, so that it is able to use the funds in doing so to pay off creditors in full. The hotels being put up for sale are The Glenmorag in Dunoon, Mackay’s Hotel in Strathpeffer and Garve Hotel in Garve. The three were already closed due to lockdown measures implemented in March.
The group is therefore seeking a company voluntary arrangement, handled by business advisors Johnston Carmichael, aimed to allow ‘’the orderly wind down of the business’’. A meeting with creditors over the CVA proposal is set to be held next Thursday (21 May).
David Urquhart Sky Travel Ltd is unaffected by the collapse of the group, due to being a legal entity.
What if I am a customer of one of Hart Hotels or for the coach tours arm?
Customers who have made advance payments for hotel bookings are being added to the list of creditors, so are expected to receive their money back, if the CVA proposal is accepted and all goes well.
With regards to customers of its coach tour business, full refunds will be given for deposits or balance payments made. This is because all funds were held in a ‘’secure independent trustee account’’ managed by a third party.
A statement was shared announcing that ‘’all customer funds are entirely safe, and it is our intention to begin the process of returning all customer monies as soon as possible.’’
A spokesperson for the group explained that the directors made the tough decision to wind up the coach tour business in an orderly manner over the next few months, due to an absence of interested parties.
It will be a shame, as the coach tour company has served loyal customers across the UK and Ireland for more than 37 years, being a key figure in the leisure and hospitality industry.
It has recently been in the news how the Scottish hospitality and tourism industry is struggling due to lockdown measures, said to be facing its ‘’second winter’’. If this is not over soon, before the next ‘actual’ winter hits, how many businesses will be able to actually survive?!