Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Conquest Vacations halts operations

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TORONTO(CNS)—Thepricewa­rintheCana­dian travel-tour business claimed another victim Wednesday, with Conquest Vacations Inc. unexpected­ly shuttering its doors after 37 years of operations.

Thousands of travellers were left high and dry by the surprise news. While most will be able to get a refund from their credit card companies and through their travel agents, that’s not much comfort for people like Debbie Crosby.

Crosby just booked a vacation with Conquest to Cancun, Mexico, last week and was told by her credit card company that it could be up to six weeks before she gets a refund because the company only said it was halting operations and didn’t formally file for bankruptcy, which requires further investigat­ion.

Conquest made the unexpected announceme­nt on its website Wednesday morning, saying it had fallen victim to competitiv­e issues in the travel-tour sector and the resulting price war that has broken out amongst heavyweigh­ts such as Transat A.T., Sunwing Vacations, WestJet Vacations and Air Canada Vacations.

Those issues were compounded, the company said, by the current credit crunch and “unrealisti­c and unreasonab­le demands” from its credit card processing companies, which typically require their clients to keep a certain amount of cash in the bank.

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