THREE eastern Mediterranean tour
operators are to join forces to investigate who is conducting a vicious smear
campaign against them.

Golden Sun Holidays, Libra Holidays
Group and Kosmar have all been caught up in a mysterious attempt to damage
their businesses.

Travel Weekly received an anonymous
report last week that made serious allegations about Golden Sun’s financial
position.

It follows a bogus report last year
that made similarly untrue claims about Libra’s finances. In 2001 there was
speculation over the finances of another Greek specialist, Kosmar.

All three companies have launched
internal probes and will take legal action if they can identify the source of
the accusations.

Golden Sun head of sales and
marketing Roger Cross, Libra managing director Eli Idrissi and Kosmar director
Abhi Dighi said the three operators are committed to working together to flush
out the culprit.

Idrissi described the rumour
mongering as “disgraceful”, while Cross is adamant someone has a vested interest
in rubbishing the three organisations.

“It speaks for itself,” said Cross.
“Someone has interests in that part of the world and wants to create problems.
First it was Kosmar, last year it was Libra, this year Golden Sun and it will
be another company next year.”

Cross dismissed the allegations and
said Golden Sun sales are up 28% to 2,500 passengers a day and claims the
company is out-performing rivals.

“This is doing so much damage to the
industry, especially after the year we’ve had. With the war in Iraq and SARS,
it is the last thing we need,” he said.

Dighi added: “There does seem to be
a pattern emerging which is odd. It’s just malicious and I don’t know why.”

Any
information on the identity of the authors of the reports received by Travel
Weekly will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Email
paul.nelson@rbi.co.uk.