Lowcost Travel Group founder Paul Evans has revealed the cost of last summer’s failures to the company.
Speaking at an Advantage conference session on entrepreneurship in Madrid today, he said last summer – when Goldtrail Holidays, Kiss Flights and Sun4u collapsed – was his “biggest business nightmare”.
“Last summer was very hard with Goldtrail going bust in the high season. The team was already tired from dealing with the ash crisis.
“Within five weeks three companies went bust. No matter what you do you’re going to lose money.
“It cost us £2.1 million – we got it back because we had insurance but we didn’t know we would at the time.”
Bouncing back from that kind of sitation is part of being a successful entrepreneur, he added.
“It absolutely ruined summer. You’ve got to pick yourself up again when you’ve been slapped hard and knocked, and that’s the challenge.”
Evans also accused Thomas Cook and Tui Travel of trying to “stifle” entrepreneurship in the industry,
He said: “Don’t underestimate the competitive edge (in the travel industry).
“There are very, very dominant players and they try to manage the industry to some extent when it comes to regulations.
“They try to stifle growth and entrepreneurship because it’s a threat.”
The former First Choice managing director said the recession had brought out opportunities for his business.
“We like to grow when times are hard. We bought three businesses when no-one had any money.”