Shearings Holidays is helping scores of Travelscope customers who face the prospect of not having a Christmas holiday after the tour operator went into administration.


Up to 40,000 holidaymakers are believed to have been affected by the collapse of Travelscope on Friday. A spokeswoman confirmed that around 10,000 had booked holidays with the tour operator for Christmas and the New Year. The remaining 30,000 had holidays booked for next year.


Shearings, which offers escorted tours, coach and air holidays, said it had been inundated with calls from travel agents and customers since Travelscope’s collapse. Already some customers who were due to depart on a tour in Austria on Friday have rebooked with Shearings and departed on Saturday.


The company is also rebooking customers on future holidays, including a Lord of the Glens cruise with departures in March, April and May. Travelscope customers were booked on the same luxury cruise liner as Shearings’ customers.


Customers are having to pay for the Shearings holidays but have been promised refunds by Travelscope. In many cases Shearings have had to contract new accommodation to cater for Travelscope customers.


Shearings senior sales and marketing manager Fiona Greenhalgh said: “It’s a tragedy so many people have been left without a holiday at this key time of the year and we have been inundated with calls. Our main priority is the customers and we have bent over backwards to help.


“As a gesture of goodwill we gave very good rates to customers who were due to depart on Friday and booked with us to go away the next day.”


When Travelscope announced it had gone into administration on Friday there were 2,000 consumers on holiday with the operator, all of whom are continuing with their holiday. Its collapse came out of the blue and has left 270 staff, most of whom are based near the company’s Gloucester offices, facing redundancy.


The company, which sells escorted tours worldwide and cruise holidays, had a turnover of £80 million last year and was fully bonded with ABTA.


A company spokeswoman said: “Travelscope has been experiencing cash flow problems recently and has gone into administration in order to seek refinancing.”


It has not formally been declared bankrupt and attempts were being made to save the company, she added.