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Exploring Vacations Ceases to Trade

Exploring Vacations Ceases to Trade

RTS Travel Ltd, trading as Exploring Vacations, has ceased to trade as of Thursday 13th September 2018. A notice posted on the company’s website states: “The Board of the Company intends to convene a meeting of creditors, to be held on 03 October 2018, at which a Liquidator will be appointed to the Company. Notice of the Creditors Meeting will be sent to all creditors in due course. We deeply regret the inconvenience that may be caused to our customers by the Company ceasing to trade. If you have any questions please email [email protected] and we will endeavour to assist you.”

A spokesman for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport said: “Officials in the Department are looking into the circumstances of the closure. The Department’s primary concern is the position the affected tourists find themselves in. Fáilte Ireland have indicated if visitors need help or information to secure alternative accommodation or services, our tourist information network is more than happy to assist.” The call centre number is: (+353) 1890 324 583.

The company was set up by Directors Robin Shortt and Russell Shortt in 2010 with a registered address at Area B, Forest Park, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. The company number is 493029 and it last filed accounts on 9th January 2018. RTS Travel Ltd was not listed by the Commission for Aviation Regulation as having either a travel agent or tour operator licence. Much of the company’s business was arranging accommodation in Ireland for US visitors.

View Comments (12)

12 Comments

  1. Erica Jones

    September 14, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    I woke up to this news here in the United States! I have an October trip already booked for Ireland and Scotland and I am furious!! Thousands of dollars with only an “I’m Sorry” email. This is completely unacceptable and makes me sick that this company had the balls to lie to my face last week that everything was good and ready.

    • NA

      September 15, 2018 at 7:10 pm

      I AGREE 100%! I lost money to them as well. Almost makes me want to fly over anyway and hunt them down.

  2. William Howse

    September 15, 2018 at 2:27 am

    Well we are supposed to depart Sunday for 16 days in Ireland. Looks like Exploring Vacations absconded with the money leaving us in the lurch. Some people apparently have seen their paid bookings cancelled while on their trips.

  3. LKell

    September 15, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    I agree. Our trip is a little further out, but I feel the same way. What now? My family has to give up this dream vacation? We are out all that money? Completely unacceptable.

  4. Pat

    September 16, 2018 at 11:13 am

    This company had cash in the bank on June 2017 in excess of €1.2m. Liabilities at that time amounted to €2.2m and assets amounted to €3.4m. So what changed in a year given that there has been an upsurge in foreign (and domestic) tourism, that would make such a company cease trading? Maybe their accountants can explain?

  5. Jeanne Grover

    September 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Gave them $3,500 to take my adult son on a wonderful vacation as a lasting memory when I am no longer on this earth. Landed in Ireland on 2nd September 2018 for a two-week stay. Picked up the car they reserved for me and embarked on a trip of a lifetime. The first four days were heavenly and we were having a wonderful time. On Day 5, we toured the Dingle peninsula and when complete needed to be in Galway for the next two nights. I drove (aged 70) all day and finally made it into Galway in the rain and dark and couldn’t wait to get inside the hotel. Unloaded car and headed into reception. When I told her my name, she told me she was sorry but they had been instructed not to honour any reservations made by Exploring Vacations. I wanted to burst into tears as I live on a fixed income. I asked for a room and she told me that, not only was she full, there were no rooms in Galway due to a huge rugby tournament. She saw the defeated expression on my face and called around for me. She said that she found a twin room up over the function room of a hotel and that there was a wedding going on. I told her I didn’t care and that we would take it. That hotel cost me over $400.00 for two nights.

    Exploring Vacations could not be reached. They don’t answer their phones after hours or on weekends normally. I asked the hotel if they had a phone number for them and they gave me a different number. Before I called Exploring Vacations, I called the next evening’s hotel to make sure my reservation was in order. The next hotel was the Markree Castle and was the one hotel I told Exploring Vacations I wanted to stay in. I called the Castle and they informed me that on 7th August Russell Shortt had cancelled my reservations. Apparently he is the founding director of Exploring Vacations. I then called the number the hotel gave me for them and reached a man named Stephen. Stephen assured me that I had a reservation for the Castle, I told him to call the Castle and make sure they took care of it. I then called the Castle again, and they told me that they had called and everything was all set.

    I then started calling all my hotels to assure I had a reservation. They all said yes. However when I arrived at the next hotel they apologised and said they were no longer allowed to deal with Exploring Vacations. These hotels could not call me in advance as all they had was my name. Exploring Vacations would not help me and just kept lying to me on the phone, they kept telling me not to worry about it and apologised. However, every time I got to a new hotel I had no reservation and needed to pay again, for what I had already paid for. I can’t begin to tell you how stressful this was. When I returned my rental car they charged me over $1,000 for it, even though I had already paid for it once.

    Exploring Vacations destroyed my dream vacation with my son. Yes I bought trip insurance, but when I called them, they said that a company going out of business was not covered. I will never waste my money on trip insurance again. I am out an additional $2,800 with no recourse and no one seems to care. To say I am upset doesn’t begin to describe how I feel. Defeated in New Hampshire.

  6. Christine Smith

    September 19, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    I am in the same boat. I innocently responded to their request to pay upfront for a discount for a nine-day trip for 11 people. I have lost a HUGE amount of money. Does anyone know if there will be reparations?

  7. Rick Mullins

    September 23, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    This was my fourth trip that I booked through them…the first three were great and this trip is for next May 2019. I booked it in January of 2018…and fortunately I only put down the down payment…but they kept e-mailing me to save money by paying it off. They sent me an e-mail asking me to pay off early to receive the discounts on 9/7/18…and I received the bad news on 9/13/18. What the cat hair deal is this? I jumped on the phone and called all my hotels to reschedule as I have already paid for my flight ahead of time. I was lucky…all three hotels re-booked my reservations. The only glitch was that I asked for and reserved a certain room… and unfortunately it was booked…but at least I got in because they had three rooms left. I was told that my reservations had been cancelled two to three months ago!!!… and they were still trying to get me to pay it off two weeks ago!!! From now on I will do my own booking. I will never use a third party again.

  8. Bob Smith

    September 27, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    We were in the middle of a 30th August to 25th September independent trip of England and Scotland when we received notice on 14th September that they had closed with the money. Fortunately they were paying hotels as we went until 14th September. Three remaining hotels for a total of seven nights were unpaid and would have been cancelled had I not immediately called them. All the hotel operators had been warned the same time that we were. Thousands of travellers have lost money. I only hope there are assets that can be taken and distributed.

  9. EARL R BLAKE

    October 10, 2018 at 1:03 am

    I had booked a two-week trip to Italy to start on 15th September. I was informed on 13th September that the company had stopped trading. Trip insurance will not cover the loss and I had payed for the flights separately. Luckily I had paid for the trip on my credit card. Even though I had payed for the trip in December and January, Chase covered the charges. I am still waiting for Bank of America to do the same. If you paid by credit card, see if your company will reimburse you.

  10. Jaymi Goltz

    October 29, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    I had a trip to Italy scheduled for 13th – 22nd October 2018. This is very unacceptable and all of us customers are out of all this money and my trip insurance won’t cover the loss. I know I will never ever use a third party again.

  11. Deb Williams

    November 10, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    We have a trip scheduled for March 2019 for six of us…Everything paid for since july…My daughter has made several attempts to contact the company but no responses. We are out US$9,000. Tenon Tours reached out to us to rebook our trip, but Exploring Vacations needs to contact them. And they haven’t. The attorney handling the liquidation doesn’t respond either. So frustrated. Can anybody help?

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 52 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 42 years.

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