Pandemic tourism slump sees another agency go under

Wincastle Travel has become the latest local travel agency to go out of business, as the badly hit travel industry struggles to stay afloat during the pandemic.

The Travel Industry Council said it received the 35-year-old company’s formal notice on Monday.

A note at the agency’s Windsor House branch in Causeway Bay said that the coronavirus pandemic had seriously affected the tourism industry, and as a result the company ceased operations on April 23.

It said the company will start the liquidation process in accordance with the law to protect the interests of all stakeholders, adding that its creditors will be notified about the process in writing.

“We feel deeply sorry and regretful for our above decision!” the note read.

The company’s website and social media page have also been taken offline.

The Travel Industry Council’s executive director Alice Chan said details provided by the agency suggest around 200 tourists have been affected, involving around HK$4 million in travel costs.

She said around 30 staff had been dismissed.

Chan said customers who have receipts with levy stamps can apply for compensation under the council’s Travel Industry Compensation Fund.

Dozens of travel agencies have folded since the initial outbreak of Covid-19, with many of those struggling to survive having to lay off staff or order them to take unpaid leave.