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Lowestoft travel firm folds

PUBLISHED: 06:13 04 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:32 11 May 2010

A Lowestoft-based travel firm specialising in trips to the Americas has folded, leaving holidaymakers' plans in tatters.

All America Holidays informed travel association ABTA it had ceased trading in holidays to the US, Canada and Latin America.

A Lowestoft-based travel firm specialising in trips to the Americas has folded, leaving holidaymakers' plans in tatters.

All America Holidays informed travel association ABTA it had ceased trading in holidays to the US, Canada and Latin America.

Last night it remained unclear exactly how many holidaymakers had been affected, although an ABTA spokesman Frances Tuke said she was currently aware of about 50 cases.

However, she stressed it was still “early days”, with ABTA helping All America Holidays' customers who had booked flights separately and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) representing those who paid for air travel as part of their package.

Because All America Holidays was a member of ABTA and covered by the CAA's Atol licence scheme, customers should be able to claim a refund.

A spokesman for the CAA said it was still collating details about affected travellers, but confirmed it would make arrangements for tourists stranded overseas to be brought home and for those about the go on holiday to receive full compensation.

All America Holidays, which also traded as Ski All America, was based at First Point House, Quay View, in Barnards Way, Lowestoft.

Its website, which was still online yesterday, claims the company had grown into one of the UK's leading specialists for holidays to the Americas.

It was founded in 2002 by Martin Jenner and Chris Neill, and the website reveals both have more than 30 years experience in management of directorial positions within leading specialist travel companies.

The EDP tried to contact the company yesterday, but the telephone numbers listed for its Lowestoft office and booking lines had been disconnected.

In November 2005, the EDP's sister paper, The Lowestoft Journal, published an article featuring the launch of the company's new brochure.

Speaking at the time, Mr Neill said: “When we began, we had a hard time, but now we are well established in close contact with a lot of travel agents and a turnover in excess of £4m.”

It is not known how many people the company employed when it folded, but ABTA said it was also listed as having offices in Twickenham, London.

The CAA spokesman said: “For those customers who are abroad, we will bring them home free of charge and for those who are still to travel, they will get full compensation.”

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