Holiday firm collapses

Seven Scots hotels and Shearings cease trading

Pitlochry Hotel: victim of the crash

May 22, updated May 23

Seven Scottish hotels and Shearings coaches have ceased trading following the failure of a holiday company.

Specialist Leisure Group plunged into administration as the coronavirus prompted all tours, cruises, holidays and hotel breaks to be cancelled.

The hotels in Scotland that have ceased trading are:

Bay Highland Hotel in Strathpeffer

Bay Great Western Hotel in Oban

Bay Tarbet Hotel at Loch Lomond

Bay Caledonian Hotel in Fort William

Bay Waverley Castle Hotel in Melrose

Pitlochry Hydro Hotel in Perthshire

Portpatrick Hotel in Dumfries and Galloway

In a statement obtained by a travel trade publication the chief executive Richard Calvert said: “The effects of Covid-19 on our 117-year-old company and the wider travel industry have been devastating.”

It will see loss of 2,500 jobs and the cancellation of 64,000 holiday bookings.

Travel trade organisation Abta said the vast majority were coach package holidays which are financially protected so customers with these bookings will receive a full refund.

EY, the administrator, confirmed that it had made more than 2,000 staff redundant who had previously been furloughed under the government’s job retention scheme.


Shearings is one of Britain’s best-known operators

Shearings Holidays is one of the most prominent coach tour operators in the UK, serving more than 170 destinations in the UK, Europe and further afield.

SLG’s operations include brands such as UK Breakaways, Coast & Country Hotels, Bay Hotels, Country Living Hotels, and Wallace Arnold Travel, and have ceased trading with immediate effect. The hotel chains will not reopen following the insolvency.

The company’s main lender, Lloyds Banking Group, and owner – the US-based private equity firm Lone Star Funds – tried to pull together a rescue deal last month.

John de Vial, Abta’s director of membership and financial services, said: “The Specialist Leisure Group included two of the UK’s best known coach holiday brands, Shearings and National Holidays, two much loved holiday companies who for many years have provided holidays both at home and overseas to a very loyal group of customers.

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