Coronavirus: Crisis forces solvent agency Burgess World Travel to shut up shop

The owner of an independent travel agency has shut the business before incurring losses due to the coronavirus crisis.

Swansea-based Burgess World Travel was formed in 1991 and had eight staff.

Owner Jonathan Evans said coronavirus was the last straw following a series of problems which had stifled travel demand, including Brexit uncertainty affecting consumer confidence last year.

The agency also suffered from a “devastating flood” last November and a decline in footfall due to disruptive local roadworks.

With little or no cash coming in, he took the decision to close the high street Abta member business while it was still solvent and pay off his employees.

He said: “Summer 2020 is a right off and it will be difficult time for jobs, not just in travel, so where will the money come from?”

Trading was getting harder, with a lack of business travel and no foreign exchange income combining with a downturn in leisure bookings, according to Evans.

Evans, who became owner of the agency in 2008, posted on Facebook that coronavirus “has brought the travel industry to a halt” after his staff had to deal with “some very trying issues these last few years”.

He added: “We’ve sold every currency under the sun and transferred money to all four corners of the globe.

“Our very successful corporate dept (sic) has arranged travel for clients based in South Wales, Slough, Sheffield and Devon.

“I would like to thank all our customers, many of whom have become friends for trusting in us over the last 30 years.

“Hopefully when lockdown ends, you are all welcome to call in an(d) see us one last time.”

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