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Sudden collapse believed to have impacted consumers

February 1, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A number of consumers may be affected after two NSW travel firms were placed in liquidation and their ATAS accreditation terminated by AFTA yesterday.

AFTA announced it was terminating the ATAS accreditation of italktravel Tuggerah and Inca Tours in NSW (which have common ownership), stating that a liquidator had been appointed.

AFTA said the decision was made after the appointed liquidator, Jirsch Sutherland, contacted AFTA, having begun the process of winding up the business.

Contact details for the liquidator are:

Jirsch Sutherland
Phone: 02 49656500
Postal: PO Box 693 Newcastle  NSW  2300
Email: admin@jirschsutherland.com.au

http://www.granmonte.com/

AFTA said it had been “made aware that there are a number of consumers impacted by this situation, and it would appear that the industry is doing what it can to assist under the circumstances”.

“italktravel BookSafe will provide protection for consumer bookings made in the italktravel Tuggerah store, demonstrating the importance of having consumer protection securely in place for these circumstances,” AFTA said in an issued statement.

“The circumstances of the Inca Tour bookings are yet to be known, however, any travel agents who have bookings with Inca Tours and are participants in the AFTA Insolvency Chargeback Scheme (AICS) may be able to make a claim subject to participation commencement.”

Of the two businesses, Inca is believed to be the larger of the two. It is a specialist South America wholesaler but its website also mentions Central America, Cuba and Mexico; Africa and Egypt; and India, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, plus expedition-style cruising to Antarctica and other cruise destinations “including the Galapagos Islands, Patagonia, the Amazon River and the Nile River”.

Whether its liquidation will have an impact on consumers, agents and suppliers will become clear as the liquidator works on the case.

AFTA is advising consumers and travel agents who have been affected to invoke a chargeback if payments were made by credit card.

It has also advised anyone impacted to contact local police “to commence criminal charges against the principals, where payments and deposits had been paid for future travel that will now not be able to be taken”.

Additionally, AFTA issued advice concerning AICS, the AFTA Insolvency Chargeback Scheme – a separate entity limited by guarantee as a Mutual Beneficiary Fund established for the benefit of ATAS Accredited AFTA members.

The statement was as follows:

AICS is advising that the following supplier is excluded from the Supplier Failure Benefit: 

INCA TOURS (ABN 84612852687) and all associated operational brands are included in this notice. 

Any bookings accepted after 31 January 2018 12:01am will not be protected by AICS and members should not accept credit or debit card payments for this supplier.

AICS Members are requested to notify AICS immediately of any bookings they have made with INCA Tours for which travel has not been availed. Please email to AICS@afta.com.au.

Written by Peter Needham

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