Barwell Leisure, a British tour operator specialising in holidays to the Spanish sports resort of La Manga, has gone bankrupt, leaving customers with forward bookings to cover their costs.
The company blamed airlines shifting capacity to non-Eurozone destinations such as Turkey as well as the strength of the Euro on its demise.
In 2008, Barwell Travel was bought by Leisurefare but continued to operate as an individual company.
The Chessington-based company was not a member of ABTA, although it is thought it was licensed under the ATOL scheme, which ensures the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will assist with getting stranded holidaymakers home.
The maximum number of people that could be abroad with Barwell Travel this month is believed to be around 600, so the CAA expects that the number of people stranded will be in the low hundreds.
A notice posted on the company’s website asks travellers with forward bookings to claim “Financial Failure Insurance”.
Opened in 1972, La Manga Club is situated on the Costa Blanca coast in the region of Murcia. It is popular with professional athletes, with England footballers and Premier League squads regularly visiting for warm weather training.
The resort was placed into voluntary administration with debts of €97 million in November 2008 when the credit crunch left owners unable to refinance the debts. However the resort has continued to operate as it finds new funding.