September 10, 2020 | AITO – The Specialist Travel Association
Says Sumners: “Cities Direct had been a member of AITO for nearly nine years and had traded for 20 years. The company had full financial protection in place via the CAA, ABTA and IPP.
“Understandably, in the current very difficult trading climate, they saw a lack of consumer demand and felt that they would be throwing good money after bad if they battled on and borrowed money.
“At AITO, we are hugely sorry about Cities Direct’s demise. Jace and his team will be missed, and we wish them well for the future, whatever they each decide to do as individuals.
“In such problematic times, while AITO battles to convey to the many Government departments to which we report the myriad problems that our SMEs are encountering – without much in the way of reaction or assistance to date – this is a clear indication of the desperate straits that many formerly vibrant companies find themselves in, through no fault of their own.
“We hope that this first AITO Covid casualty signals clearly to Government that the many U-turns it has taken over the past six months have severely shaken consumer confidence when it comes to booking overseas holidays. The entire outbound travel market is under intense pressure.
“We need Government support to enable us to survive and to continue to pay our usual enormous amounts of tax into the Exchequer for the greater good. The alternative is too depressing for words and involves heavy demands for Government assistance via claims for social security and housing assistance from the industry’s hundreds of thousands of employees.”
Cities Direct’s website, www.citiesdirect.co.uk, has now been updated with the latest information.