Harvey World Travel has had its ABTA membership terminated for not complying with accountancy rules.
The company’s 60 branches have been told to remove the ABTA logo from all stationery and point-of-sale material, an ABTA spokesman confirmed.
Former Lets Go Travel managing director Simon Maunder, currently advising Harvey World Travel on a consultancy basis, told Travel Weekly the agency will continue trading as normal, adding, “This is not a business in trouble.”
It is only the third member in the last 12 months to have its membership terminated by the association, however, 30 members have left in the same period, some because their membership was set to be terminated.
HWT was acquired from Stella Travel Services UK in March by Stuart Arnott, owner of four-strong agency chain Vacation Travel, who also bought the leases on 34 former HWT stores. Under the deal, the brand is due to disappear from the UK by the end of the year and be replaced with a new name.
At the time, Arnott said he had bonded the HWT shops for just over £2 million. Vacation Travel withdrew its ABTA membership nearly a year and a half ago because of bonding costs of in excess of £1 million.
ABTA said the miniple’s membership had been terminated under Article 10 of its articles of association, which states: “If in the opinion of the board the accounts of any member of ABTA are unsatisfactory or any member shall have failed to comply with the provisions of Article 10, the board shall decide whether or not the membership of the member shall be terminated, or whether that member shall be required to provide further finance or a bond, guarantee or other security.
“If the member shall fail to comply with any requirements of the board with regard to the provision of further finance, a bond, guarantee or other security and if the Board shall decide to terminate his membership, he shall thereupon cease to be a member of ABTA.”
An ABTA spokesman said: “It is quite rare to terminate membership. We tried to be as flexible as we could, but the deadline passed and we had no choice but to terminate the membership.”
A representative for HWT could not be reached for comment.
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