UK-based On Holiday Group has been put into administration, with forward bookings worth £19 million, putting 65 jobs at risk. Chief Executive Steve Endacott said: “All monies received from agents is held in ring-fenced client accounts and will be returned by the On Holiday Group to agents in the next few days along with the bookings effected in resort. Unfortunately, this does mean customers will have to pay their bills in resort and reclaim the funds from our travel agency partners.”
A statement from the group said: “The directors of OHG Accommodation Ltd have announced that they have been forced by HMRC continuing to withhold £4.5m of disputed Toms VAT to put the business into administration. This is because they are unable to pay all hotel bills as they are falling due and want to secure an orderly wind up of the business from a customer and travel agency partner perspective. As a result its Dubai-based trading partner Euro Rooms Direct Ltd has also decided to stop taking forward bookings.
“OHG has had lengthy discussions with most of the major bed banks over the last week, to try to persuade one of them to take over the client account and the £19m of forward bookings carrying £600,000 of profit. Again this would have minimised disruption to customers and OHG’s travel agency partners. However, we are saddened to report that only one bed bank was willing to complete a deal to help their travel agency partners. Unfortunately, this deal floundered last night, because of deliberate and inaccurate leaks to the Spanish press along with legal complexities relating to the client account.”