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Published on Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Adventure travel company for 'cash-rich, time-poor millennials' folds


Flash Pack, a seven-year-old South West London-based adventure travel tour operators once valued at $13 million (according to Forbes magazine) has gone bust.

Founders Radha Vyas and former photojournalist Lee Thompson said the business, which organised tours for solo travellers in their 30s and 40s, had been 'devastated' by the pandemic.

The husband and wife team said they had decided to place the company into administration so customers could get refunds as quickly as possible.

In a message on their website, Radha (pictured second from right) said: "We've spent every day of the last seven months searching for ways that would allow Flash Pack to continue, from funding to furloughing.

"And, although we know travel will return, continuing to search for a viable solution with no clear idea of when this will happen is now too great a risk.

"With that in mind, Lee and I have decided to place Flash Pack into administration immediately, to help our existing customers get a refund as quickly as possible."

Customers are being directed by the CAA to The Travel Vault, which provided an umbrella ATOL for other operators to trade under. The Travel Vault protects customers' money using a financial failure insurance policy, details of which it said it would provide on its website shortly.

Radha, who talked at the Elman Wall conference in 2018 (above) about how Flash Pack had grown using only social media advertising, said in her website post that despite today's decision to put the company into administration, she and Lee had been able to 'save the busines' by remortgaging their home.

She added: "Our hope is to relaunch some time in 2021, when or if the pandemic allows. The future of our adventure is still uncertain and we have no idea if we'll be back but, for now, our website and social channels will remain online, in hibernation."

She invited customers to sign up if they'd like to know if the company, founded in 2013, relaunches.

Radha added: "We'd like to thank our wonderful community of Flashpackers, for everything - it's been an enormous privilege. Your courage, friendliness and spirit of adventure is what made Flash Pack today, and the thousands of lasting friendships formed on our adventures - along with the growing confidence in the joy of solo travel - are the legacies we hope will continue into the future, with or without us.

"Thank you everyone for what has been an unbelievable adventure - our wonderful customers, our global partners and, above all, our supremely talented team."

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