Conquest Vacations halts operations
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.