By David Hennessy
Irish-owned tour operator Enjoy Travel ceased trading last week.
Enjoy Travel specialised in combining Irish music with the sun of Europe.
Established since 1989, the tour operator announced last week that their future was ‘untenable’ due to the ‘savage destruction meted out to the travel and entertainment industries’, adding that ‘Enjoy Travel Limited is totally immersed in both’.
The family business had survived other crises such as foot and mouth, ash clouds and the financial crash.
However, Gerry Flynn told The Irish World that although they ceased trading on 8 May, the family business will return when normality also does.
Director Gerry from Mayo told us that the business had no option but to take the action they did and that customers will get refunds.
Gerry told The Irish World: “We’re victims of the virus and we have to protect our customers.
“We had about 1105 people due to go on holidays in April at about £800 and if you consider we have 1105 people at £800 each, it works out at about nearly £900,000. We’re just a normal family business and our customers are entitled to a refund.
“We have all the appropriate insurances and everything, everybody is covered so they’ll all get their refunds. It might take a few weeks to process all that.
“That’s the sad part about it. In order to trigger the insurances, we needed to cease trading. It’s not as if the business has done anything untoward. This is definitely coronavirus-related.
“And there are several reasons why we had to do what we’ve done.
“We ran our last event on St. Patrick’s weekend in Blackpool and when we came home on the Monday we more or less went straight into lockdown.
“Susan and I are in lockdown because of our age, the staff are furloughed and the office has been closed since 17 March. We haven’t taken a booking or done anything since then.
“The timing of this is just horrendous for us because if it had happened a month sooner, we would not have sent any money to Spain. We pay for everything in advance. We had already bought all the flights. Easyjet, Ryanair, Jet2 all have our customers’ money and we’ve paid for all the hotels and all the additional services. We’ve been trying to get the money back to try and refund our clients.
“We had to cancel all the events. That’s the situation we were left in.”
The organisation has come through tough times in its 31 year history.
“In that time we’ve probably run almost 200 events of various kinds. We always enjoyed a high level of repeat business which is manifesting itself now in the emails that we’re getting from people indicating how tragic this is.
“There’s nothing we can do about this. It’s sad for us as a family. We’ve nurtured Enjoy Travel through a lot of crises in the past.
“We had trouble with the ash cloud years ago. Foot and mouth nearly put us out of business because we were more focused on holidays into Ireland at that time. As a matter of fact, it was as a result of the foot and mouth that we concentrated on running overseas events as opposed to running only Irish events. The banking crisis nearly stopped us again because so many people’s disposable income was affected.
“There’s absolutely no doubt whatsoever that as soon as the coast is clear, we’ll be back but unfortunately not as Enjoy Travel. We have to get back on the bicycle.”