What to do if you have no financial protection for your holiday as NINE operators cancel bookings

Following the news of the collapse of Specialist Leisure Group Limited, further advice has now been given for people who may not have financial protection for their holiday booking.

The Specialist Leisure Group announced the news on their social media account and said administrators had been appointed.

The Specialist Leisure Group operated several businesses that sold holidays and other travel arrangements under the following brand names, which have all ceased to trade, due to the impact of COVID-19: This is Shearings, National Holidays, ukbreakaways.com, BayHotels, Coast and Country Hotels, Country Living Hotels, Caledonian Travel, Wallace Arnold Travel, sportingbreaks.com

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The trips will not be rescheduled, The Specialist Leisure Group said.

Plane stock

All hotels trading as Bay Hotels, Coast & Country Hotels and Country Living Hotels will not reopen.

All Wallace Arnold Travel shops are now permanently closed, it was also announced.

Advice given by Specialist Leisure Group Limited is as follows:


If you do not have financial protection for your holiday booking, other options to claim may be available to you. The options available to you will depend on your method of payment and insurance cover as outlined below.

Holiday bookings without financial protection may include:

Self-drive holidays;

Hotel reservations with Bay Hotels, Coast & Country Hotels and Country Living Hotels (click here for a full list of these hotels);

Activity only bookings, without organised coach travel; and

Some Holiday Credit Notes, e.g. those issued for self-drive holidays and hotel breaks cancelled since March 2020.

Customers with Holiday Credit Notes, issued for package holidays cancelled since March 2020, may have the same financial protection as under their original booking. Please follow the guidance for “Package holiday bookings” in the first instance.

Credit Card

If you paid any part of your booking on credit card, please contact your card issuer to confirm if you are eligible to claim a refund. If your booking was ATOL protected, you will be able to claim for a refund through ATOL. The UK Civil Aviation Authority is contacting consumers directly or through their travel agent with further information.

The contact number for your card issuer is likely to be located on the reverse of your card (otherwise it can be found online).

Please note that the card issuer is the bank which issued the card to you, not the payment processor. For example, if you have a HSBC MasterCard, the card issuer is HSBC (not MasterCard).

Debit Card

If you paid any part of your booking on debit card, please contact your card issuer to understand if you have any financial protection under the chargeback scheme.

Travel Insurance

Depending on your policy, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance.

Please contact your travel insurance provider to discuss the options available to you.

Claim in the Administration

If you are not eligible for a refund in any of the ways mentioned above, you may be entitled to submit a claim in the Administration of the Specialist Leisure Group, as an unsecured creditor.

You should only make a claim as an unsecured creditor if you have exhausted all other options. At this early stage, it is not known if any money will be available to meet such claims.

You can register your unsecured creditor claim by emailing [email protected] or writing to the Joint Administrators at the following address: c/o S J Woodward and C P Dempster, Ernst & Young LLP, 2 St Peter’s Square, Manchester, M2 3EY, United Kingdom.

Please include in your email / letter the following information:

Your name and address;

Total claim amount, i.e. the amount paid for your holiday;

Details of your booking, including booking reference number, destination, dates, number of travellers; and

Evidence of purchase, i.e. your booking confirmation.

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