The failure of two Turkey specialists this month does not reflect struggling trade to the destination, according to rival operators.


Operators Perfect Choice Holidays and Fly Brits had their ATOLs, worth £486,283 and £758,000 respectively, pulled by the Civil Aviation Authority and have ceased trading.


Rival operators claimed the news was more likely to be linked to the business models of the companies involved. Operators to Turkey said they were experiencing increasing sales to the destination this year.


Goldtrail Holidays sales and marketing manager Joe Lavers said: “Turkey has not had a bird flu crisis this year and there haven’t been any bombings and it still offers good value for money.”


Goldtrail has recorded a 31% rise in sales this year and is chartering four extra return flights for next month two from both Glasgow and Gatwick to Bodrum and Dalaman.


Last year upmarket Turkey specialist Tapestry Holidays collapsed, with former managing director Nick Wrightman blaming too many flight and accommodation commitments for the operator’s demise. In contrast, the latest collapses may have been speeded up by the failure of the operators to secure commitments, according to Lavers.


“They were operating in the mass market and they would have found it hard to do so without any commitments that allow you to keep the price down. They were trying to source flights and accommodation, which is what an agent does, and could not offer discounts like other operators.”


Tour operator Explore, a niche adventure specialist, has enjoyed a 12.5% increase in bookings to Turkey to 1,800 so far this year. Head of product Peter Crane said the destination was not proving difficult to sell.


Travel Weekly was unable to contact Perfect Choice and Fly Brits.