The Commission for Aviation Regulation has completed the autumn 2014 licensing round for travel agents and tour operators offering travel from Ireland. A total of 116 travel agents and 46 tour operators were licensed in this round. One travel agency has not (yet) had its licence renewed, while five travel agent licences and five tour operator licences (including Sunspot Tours / Mercury Direct) were not renewed.
In a statement, the CAR said: “Of the licences granted 110 travel agents and 45 tour operators were renewals. The autumn 2014 licensing round saw a small reduction in the number of travel agents and tour operators (down four in total) from the same round in 2013. However, the data submitted by applicants suggested a degree of confidence in the sector. Renewal applications submitted for travel agents indicated an average increase of 5% in turnover on last year. The projections by individual tour operators are also up slightly on last year, with renewing tour operators projecting an average increase of just over 3% for the coming 12 months.
“Taken together with the spring licensing round for travel agents, a total of 222 travel agents and 46 tour operators are licensed to operate in Ireland. Included in this figure are 13 newly licensed entities – 11 travel agents and two tour operators.
“The following travel agent has not had its licence renewed: Carrier Limited, No. 1 Lakeside, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 3GW – Licence Number TA0723. The CAR is continuing to engage with this firm and a licence may be issued in due course; if so, a notice will be placed on the CAR’s website.
“The entity referred to above must refrain from taking any new bookings from 1st November 2014. Customers are advised that any bookings made with Carrier Limited while it remains unlicensed will not be covered by the bonding scheme.
“The CAR regulates tour operators and travel agents. Bonds provided to CAR would be used for passenger repatriation in the event that a licence holder ceases trading when customers are stranded abroad or to provide refunds where travel contracts are not fulfilled before the due date of travel. Any bookings made with an unlicensed entity are not protected by the bonding schemes operated by CAR.”
Five companies are listed as not renewing their travel agent licences from 1st November 2014: Adventure Travel (0726), Capitol Holdings / Thomas Cook (0691), ITS Travel Bureau (0547), Lowcostholidays (0704 – now 0730), Oscar Travel Bureau (0654 – all branches now through World Travel Centre 0388), and Stena Line (0426 – now 0733).
Five other companies are listed as not renewing their tour operator licence from 1st November 2014: O’Connor Bus Hire (259), O’Sullivan’s Garage & Coaches (255), Sunspot Tours / Mercury Direct (254), Tully’s Travel (046), and Traveldev / Directski.com (172).