Twohig Travel has decided to cease trading with effect from the end of February. Unlike other travel companies who have closed in recent times, all suppliers have been paid and all bookings will be honoured. Ed Burke spoke to Michael Flood, Editor of Irish Travel Trade News.
The company has been in business since the early 1930s but the current management, under Managing Director Ed Burke, took over the business in 1986.
Speaking last week to ITTN, Ed Burke said: “I decided that, after having worked in the industry for 40 years, it was time to have a life of my own and to take care of and do the things in life that I have always wanted to do before I got too old to do them.”
He confirmed that this is a voluntary winding up and that no debts wiil be left unpaid and there will be no call on the company’s bond. All the client bookings have been handed over to John Cassidy Travel and Classic Resorts, depending on whether they are short-haul or long-haul, and these will process the bookings in a seamless manner, thus ensuring that the clients will suffer no financial loss or inconvenience.
All of the suppliers, overseas destination management companies and hotels, have all been paid in full.
Ed went on to say that it is a very easy and simple closure: “The Commission for Aviation Regulation has been fully briefed and is aware of all the arrangements that have been put in place – and they are pleased that it is happening in such an orderly manner. In fact, I am looking forward to receiving the value of the bond back in six months and a day!
“I have enjoyed my life in the travel industry, without any shadow of a doubt; it has been an amazing career. I can remember having to ring airlines to make reservations and using the first computers that came in, and progressing to the level of technology that exists today.
“My first job was with Aer Lingus in London, but I came back to Dublin after a year to join Joe Walsh Tours in the early 1970s. History will show that there are so many people in the industry today who started there – it really was the university of the travel industry. I went on to work with Eugene Magee in South Anne Street and then to Teddy Hickson’s tour operating venture before coming to Twohigs, which was then operating as a travel agent.
“I developed the business by making it the foremost long-haul tour operator in the Irish market.”
Ed’s favourite long-haul destination is Thailand, which he holds with great affection as the most hospitable location on earth. To him it really is Amazing Thailand!
He intends to take two to three months off to take care of certain personal issues that need to be taken care of, following which there is no doubt that he will be back in some shape or form … so watch this space!
In a message to the airlines, he said that they have to realise that they still need travel people and travel agencies to promote their product – websites are all well and good, but you can’t beat personal advice. When something goes wrong the customer needs the assistance of a travel professional.
Ed concluded with a glowing tribute to all his staff. “In all years that I have managed Twohigs, all of my staff have been absolutely tremendous, they have been part of the growth of Twohigs, the day-to-day running of the company.
“I am absolutely delighted that in this orderly wind-down each and every one of them to a man/woman has been fixed up with a job in the industry. One or two might not need to work again – which might mean that I paid them too much!”
So a satisfactory ending to the departure of one of the most highly regarded companies, and managing directors, within the Irish travel industry, and one in which everyone got paid.
The Irish Travel Trade News team wish Ed and all his staff the very best for the future.