Keith Harris, Orville and Pontins

By | Category: Travel news, Travel tips & opinions

Most of you will have heard that Pontins have gone into administration. This means that a firm of accountants have been called in to try and rescue the company and sell off whatever assets they have.
This raises two questions. Why, when staycations have been so popular did Pontins not do better than it seems to have been doing and what happens to the holidaymaker who has booked a future holiday when a domestic holiday provider goes bust.
Pontins have 5 locations: Brean Sands in Somerset, Camber Sands in East Sussex, Prestatyn in North Wales, Pakefield in Suffolk and Southport in Merseyside. The administrators, KPMG, say that all jobs are safe for the moment as our future booked holidays. They also think they will be able to find a buyer. The reason given for the problem is that bookings were down and Pontins had run out of cash. Bookings down? But this is staycation time. Had Pontins not kept up with the times and given holidaymakers what they wanted? Had they not marketed their remaining sites well enough? (At one time they had 30 sites.) In 2009, the owners announced a £50 million pound improvement scheme. Was this too little, too late?
The travel industry is, on the whole, surprised at what has happened. And the feeling is that another buyer will be quickly found. After all, the other rivals to Pontins have been doing well.
The website is operating still and they are taking bookings. No refunds are allowed if you cancel. Which leads to the question, if you book will your holiday be safe? The answer is as safe as you can be. Pay by credit card and that will give some insurance in case the very worst happens. Sales will probably go down until a buyer is found so there could be some bargains to be had if you fancy a little risk. But for holidays at home there is no bonding scheme such as the ATOL bond which applies to overseas package holidays. Hopefully this will be included when, if I ever live long enough, the new directive on package holidays comes in.
One final note. Keith Harris and Orville have been performing at Pontins. Contrary to a Twitter comment I can’t believe they have brought about it’s problems!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: ,