Visit Atlantic City

Published on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tour op takes on failed Turkey specialist's bookings

The Discerning Collection has bought out Elixir Holidays after the Turkey specialist ceased trading last week with around 300 forward bookings.

Managing director Nick Wrightman said that it has taken on all forward bookings, some assets, databases and intellectual property rights.

The deal does not include any staff.

Elixir, which was set up in 2004, featured luxury, adult-only and family boutique hotels and villas in resorts on the Mediterranean coast, including Kas, Kalkan, Patara, Faralya and Datca, the Hillside Beach Club in Fethiye, the D-Resort Hotel in Gocek, and weekend mini-cruises.

Wrightman said The Discerning Collection had already contacted about 30% of the 300 forward bookings due to travel with Elixir between May and October and had re-protected them.

He said: "We're pleased to see that everyone is wanting to book again. Those who haven't re-booked through us had already booked an alternative destination.

"Our staff can handle all of the re-protection - it's about allaying fears as a lot of these people had booked and paid in full."

The Discerning Collection will initially only ask for the flight element from holidaymakers wanting to re-book but the operator has liaised with suppliers in Turkey to secure the accommodation element.

Wrightman added: "We will take the exposure with the hotels and have spoken to them all including the Hillside to confirm we can re-protect clients."

Clients booked with Elixir will claim their money back from the Civil Aviation Authority under the ATOL protection scheme.

The CAA has published advice for anyone affected by the collapse of Elixir Holidays and a claim form is on its website.

Wrightman confirmed that bookings to Turkey were down but added that the Discerning Collection made a profit last year because it is not 100% committed to anything.

He said: "All our contracts are based on hotels being paid when the client returns."

Turkey's tourism has been hit by bombings in its major cities, making holidaymakers nervous about travelling there.

Earlier this month, TUI Group reported a 40% drop in summer holiday bookings to Turkey and Thomas Cook revealed it had cut its capacity to Turkey by 29% this summer.

Last week Mark Warner confirmed it was pulling out of the destination altogether.

The Discerning Collection's programme in Turkey is similar to the one offered by Elixir but the operator also features the Greek Islands, Morocco, Majorca and Italy.


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