Top-rated Laskarina Holidays to closeFirm blames cheap airlines and DIY holidays

09 October 2006

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Greek islands specialist tour operator Laskarina Holidays is to wind up its business after more than 30 years of trading.

The small independent company was the top-rated company in the last Holiday Which? survey with high marks for its accommodation and reps.In August Tapestry Holidays, rated fifth in the same survey, went bust.

Laskarina Managing Director Ian Murdoch blamed the closure on tough market conditions due to the rise of no-frills airlines, more people opting for do-it-yourself holidays, and the increased choice of long-haul destinations.

He said:‘All-inclusives and self-packaging are here to stay. Sharm el Sheikh [in Egypt] is the new Torremolinos.’

No-frills airlines

Other factors cited were the changes to school holidays and the increase in regional departures, but the main reason was the over-supply of aircraft seats which had led to heavy discounting even in the traditional summer holiday months.

Laskarina has said it will refund any deposits it has taken for the 2007 season.

Which? travel spokesman Bob Tolliday said: ‘This is a sad day for the travel industry. Laskarina delivered high quality holidays that came with the full range of consumer protection measures. It may signal the demise of the specialist independent tour operator.’

Find out about your rights if your travel company goes bust in our guide.