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Channel Islands’ Co-operative Travelmaker agencies to close

The Channel Islands Co-operative Society will close its four Co-operative Travelmaker agencies at the end of January.

Mark Cox, chief executive of the Channel Islands Co-operative Society, said the decision was as a result of the global impact of Covid-19 on travel.

In a statement, he said: “Having conducted a strategic review of our Co-operative Travelmaker business and given the negative and protracted impact that Covid-19 has had on the travel industry globally, we have made the difficult decision to exit our travel business and subsequently the Co-op Travelmaker will close on Sunday 31 January 2021.

“We have made every possible attempt to avoid this closure, however we are unable to sustain the level of losses incurred by this strand of the society.”

The company’s website said the business has one travel branch in Guernsey and three in Jersey, plus bureaux de change in several Co-op stores in the islands.

Cox said staff in Jersey and Guernsey have been informed and are being supported.

They have the option of redeployment within other areas of the Co-op business or redundancy.

He added: “We are in advanced discussions about a possible takeover of a Jersey travel branch and are supporting other colleagues in potentially setting themselves up as personal travel agents under Midcounties Co-operative Travel. Further details on this will be provided as soon as they are progressed and agreed.

“Travelmaker is not accepting new travel bookings, but all existing bookings up to December 18 will be honoured and remain unaffected by the closure.

“All existing bookings are held by the principal tour operator and remain financially protected through our Abta bonding,” said Cox.

“We will continue to assist customers with any confirmed travel bookings and provide the necessary support for any recently cancelled holidays due to Covid-19 that are still awaiting a refund from the tour operator or travel provider.”

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