‘Incredible sadness’ as COVID claims another specialist

By Steve Jones
10/11/2021
Home » ‘Incredible sadness’ as COVID claims another specialist

South East Asia specialist Ethos Travel has collapsed with the business blaming the end of furlough and the pitiful lack of government support for its demise.

The London-based operator, founded by Sam Collins in 2008, said it had no option but to close its doors after a turbulent 18 months.

The decision to shut up shop comes two months after Mr Collins told Travel Gossip he would have to make his girlfriend redundant when furlough came to an end.

A heartfelt message on its website spoke of the ‘incredible sadness’ of no longer being able to create memories for clients.

It also warned that the future ‘remains bleak’ for those specialist operators still struggling to generate much revenue.

“It is with great sadness that we have had to make the decision to close Ethos Travel after 13 amazing years (and 18 very difficult months),” the company said.

“This is not a choice we have made lightly but the reality is that we cannot foresee a future that would enable us to trade our way out of Covid uncertainties.

“With the ending of furlough, and the lack of any tailored industry support we have faced the reality that the future remains bleak for specialist tour operators without reliable income.”

Ethos Travel, which employed five full time staff before COVID and focused on ethical holidays in small, locally owned resorts, said only one of its 11 destinations is open to UK travellers, and that only partially.

It lists Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand among its destinations.

Facing the prospect of uncertain border issues and on-going confusion for travellers, the firm said it had to accept it was “a business without business”.

“We have tried to give the company time and opportunity to find a pathway through the current uncertainties – but this has proved impossible,” the message went on.

“We are indebted to all of our amazing staff and clients over the last 13 years – and to the incredible loyalty of those who have booked and rebooked over recent times.

“We remain committed to supporting you moving forward – all bookings are ATOL Bonded and we will be in touch as a matter of priority.

“We know we have created many indelible memories for so many people, and feel an incredible sadness that we will not be there to make many more.”

Prior to launching Ethos Travel, Mr Collins was sales development manager for Rainbow Tours and since 2016 was South East Asia spokesperson for PATA UK & Ireland.

The Civil Aviation Authority said Ethos Travel held an ATOL up until 30 September and ceased trading as an ATOL holder on 9 November.

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