AFTA UP­DATE

Travel Daily - - News - From Jayson West­bury

THE cred­i­tors’ meet­ing held last week in Mel­bourne by the ad­min­is­tra­tor of Tempo-Ben­tours has def­i­nitely, and un­for­tu­nately, raised more ques­tions and a very large dark cloud over the en­tire sit­u­a­tion, along with the con­tribut­ing fac­tors that the ad­min­is­tra­tor now needs to in­ves­ti­gate.

To say that it is a mess is an un­der­state­ment, not only on the ba­sis of the con­fused state­ments made by the Cox & Kings Di­rec­tors, but also the fun­da­men­tal ques­tion that ev­ery­one in­volved and caught up in this col­lapse is ask­ing – “where is the money?”

Seem­ingly, and I can at­test to this, the Aus­tralian op­er­a­tions had been run­ning very suc­cess­fully for many years. AFTA, by way of the ATAS ac­cred­i­ta­tion process, had a clear over­sight of the prof­itabil­ity of the com­pany and it was only at the point when the par­ent com­pany Cox & Kings found its way into trou­ble that the wob­ble and worry be­came ev­i­dent to AFTA, which con­se­quently gave rise to the can­cel­la­tion of the ATAS ac­cred­i­ta­tion for Tempo-Ben­tours.

It is a rel­a­tively easy thing to spot when banked funds do not equal re­ceipts for for­ward sales made by con­sumers - it is a sim­ple mat­ter of math­e­mat­ics, and when the par­ent com­pany is pro­vid­ing guar­an­tees but is it­self not able to meet its obli­ga­tions, dis­as­ter fol­lows.

In this case the num­bers did not add up, and while I un­der­stand from the meet­ing re­ports that some ref­er­ence was made to the cause of their demise be­ing that of the re­moval of the ATAS ac­cred­i­ta­tion, it is sim­ply not true. It is ridicu­lous and em­bar­rass­ing for those who may have made these state­ments, as the truth will al­ways finds its way to the top of the story.

ATAS ac­cred­i­ta­tion is a vol­un­tary fac­tor, and the de­ci­sion to par­tic­i­pate means com­pli­ance with the rules.

To place any blame on AFTA for the in­abil­ity of these peo­ple and di­rec­tors to op­er­ate their busi­ness demon­strates the clear lack of abil­ity and may be in fact the more likely cause of this col­lapse.

The ad­min­is­tra­tor clearly has his/her work cut out for them, as so of­ten is the case with travel busi­ness col­lapse as there is al­ways con­fu­sion, frus­tra­tion and dif­fi­cultly get­ting to the bot­tom of what re­ally caused the com­pany to get it­self into the cir­cum­stances of need­ing to liq­ui­date and close down.

There is some way to go with this en­tire sit­u­a­tion and we can all hope that the ad­min­is­tra­tor is able to do its job to find out the truth, and that liq­ui­da­tion will bring with it some re­im­burse­ment to those im­pacted.

If that is not the sat­is­fac­tory out­come, then fur­ther le­gal pur­suits must be con­sid­ered as peo­ple should not be al­lowed to get away with fi­nan­cial wrong do­ings, if in fact this proves to be the case - a tight watch brief by all will be main­tained I am sure.

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