York city centre shop won’t reopen after travel firm ceases trading

STA Travel on Low Ousegate. Photographs: Richard McDougall
22 Aug 2020 @ 12.55 pm
| Business

A travel agency in York has closed for good after its parent company ceased trading.

STA Travel on Low Ousegate has a note on its door saying it has been shut by the coronavirus pandemic.

But it will not be reopening after the chain went out of business.

A statement posted on the firm’s website reassured customers that those with bookings would receive information in the coming days.

The news is another blow to York, just days after YorkMix reported that York residents claiming out-of-work benefits has increased by 3,500 between February and June 2020 – “with significant further job losses to come”.

Industry at a standstill

The sign in the shop window

STA Travel UK announced it had ceased trading yesterday (Friday), claiming it was left with “no choice” following the impact of the coronavirus crisis on tourism.

The travel agency specialises in package tours for backpackers and young people.

It said in a statement: “The global impact of the coronavirus pandemic has brought the travel industry to a standstill.”

While it had taken measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19, sales had not picked up due to “consumer uncertainties, further restrictions and renewed lockdown measures”.

It comes after STA Travel Holdings AG, the travel firm’s Swiss parent company, filed for insolvency earlier this week.

Abta, which represents tour operators and travel agents, said the news would send a “shockwave” through the tourism industry, which has taken a hit during the pandemic.

A separate statement posted on the firm’s website reassured customers that those with bookings would receive information in the coming days.

“Due to the recent announcement that STA Travel UK has ceased trading, unfortunately our travel experts are unable to assist you at this time,” it said.

“Please be assured that if you had a previous booking with us, or hold a live booking, you will receive further communication in the coming days.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience and the limited information available to you at this time.”

Andrew McConnell, spokesman for Atol, acknowledged it would be a cause for concern for anyone who had booked through the company or had their plans cancelled.