UK-based tour operator Dreamticket.com has gone into administration leaving 600 holidaymakers abroad, with another 4,000 forward booking also affected, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.
The website of Dreamticket, trading as Selsdon Travel Ltd, states the company ceased trading as of 23 May.
The Croydon-based travel agent has informed customers who made a direct booking using a credit card to contact their credit card provider.
All other customers should make a claim from the CAA.
The long-haul operator sold holidays to the Indian Ocean, Middle East, Far East, Africa and Caribbean and held a licence to cover 17,000 passengers.
The CAA is making arrangements for people abroad to complete their holidays and return to the UK through the ATOL scheme. This includes a full refund for those with forward bookings.
The aviation body has advised passengers to go to the airport as ticketed to return to the UK.
However travellers may be required to pay hotels for their stay.
“If this is the case, passengers must ensure that they are provided with a clear receipt for the payment, which will be required in order to make a claim for a refund of the payment upon return to the UK,” the CAA said.
Dreamticket.com owner Selsdon Travel ceased trading despite promise of investment from a new backer Hatfield Investments earlier in the year.
The firm is understood to turn over about £35 million and had just under 4,500 forward bookings.
Dreamticket was the third-biggest UK operator to the Maldives and it specialised in the Indian Ocean and destinations in the Middle East.
The company was set up by chief executive Lawrence Hunt, founder of Silverjet and now a director at Lowcost Travel Group, and commercial director Jo Rzymowska, who is now Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s UK general manager.
The company ceased operating in 2001 and Selsdon acquired the domain name in 2002.