Published on Friday, October 9, 2020

IOW coach company fails after 31 years of operation

An Isle of Wight coach company that has been operating for 31 years has blamed Covid-19 for its failure yesterday, claiming the pandemic 'wiped out' more than 90% of its business for the year.

On its website Isle of Wight Tours said it wound up its operations yesterday (Thursday), but reassured its 'more than loyal customers' who have paid money for future trips.

In a statement it said: "We have tried so hard for you, our more than loyal customers, to keep our heads above water. We have worked hard to cancel/postpone/refund what is now nearly 30,000 customers but with over 90% of our trade for the year wiped out by Covid-19 and with cancellations now coming in for 2021, we find we are unable to continue.

"Please rest assured that we have financially protected our customers' money. If you have booked a holiday by coach, or an 'event style' break including overnight accommodation, then you are entitled to a full refund of the monies paid for the holiday.

"We want to thank you for allowing us to have looked after you, some of our customers have been loyal to us for all 31 years we have been trading. We have laughed together, cried together and enjoyed each other's company over the years, and we are really going to miss each and every one of you."

IOW Tours is a member of The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK and held a bond under the Bonded Coach Holidays scheme to protect customer prepayments. BCH has appointed Protect Claims to manage and process refund claims. Protect Claims will help customers claim back any monies owed, including those protected by Refund Credit Notes issued.

Meanwhile, Northumberland-based Gardiners NMC, another specialist coach company, has also ceased trading, according to BCH.

"We are saddened to hear of failure of Gardiners NMC and Isle of Wight Tours," the statement read.

BCH said details of how to make a claim will be posted on its website by close of business on Tuesday 13 October and urged people not to contact the company by other means.

Gardiners Holidays Limited, trading as Gardiners NMC, will operate a few tours and day excursions for 2020 and the 2021 brochure will be available for departures from the north east later this month.

By Louise Longman, Contributing Editor (UK)

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