Specialist tour operator Chameleon Worldwide Travel has ceased trading.

The Atol-protected company, which specialised in walking, family and school trips in destinations including Costa Rica, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Croatia, traded under the brands Adventure Worldwide, Chameleon Worldwide, Families Worldwide, Schools Worldwide and Walks Worldwide.

The Hampshire-based company failed on Monday, October 31. It had 38 passengers abroad and around 179 forward bookings, covering 700 customers, at the time it ceased trading.

Richard Lewis and Nigel Morrison, of Grant Thornton UK, have been appointed joint administrators of Chameleon, which was mainly direct-sell but is thought to have been sold by at least 40-50 independent travel agents.

Agents with clients booked with Chameleon Worldwide will be contacted directly by the Civil Aviation Authority on how to deal with these bookings and are advised not to refund clients.

Clients currently on holiday with the company who booked direct and have a scheduled flight booked to return to the UK have been told their flight remains valid but are advised to check with their airline about their existing ticket.

The Civil Aviation Authority is in talks with accommodation providers to guarantee hotel stays for those currently on holiday, although holidaymakers may need to repay their accommodation in resort and claim back the costs from the CAA by emailing claims@caa.co.uk

Holidaymakers due to travel are entitled to claim a refund for the amount paid for their holiday or use the flight and make a claim for the other elements of their trip. For bookings without any flight element, consumers are advised to contact abtot.com.

In 2012, Chameleon Worldwide managing director Mark Wright had unveiled plans for significant expansion after tour operator Intrepid sold its 53% stake in the business. At the time, Chameleon Worldwide carried less than 10,000 passengers a year.