Anne Majumdar

Less then 24 hours after Travel Agents were warned Si Holidays was no longer covered by the supplier failure benefit offered by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents’ Chargeback Scheme (ACS), it has been revealed that the wholesaler is set to be placed into voluntary administration today.

AFTA sent out an urgent warning yesterday afternoon, telling agents that ACS would not protect any bookings accepted after March 8, 2018, for Si Holidays and its associated operational brands including Freestyle Holidays, The Collection and Waitui.

Now it seems, Si Holidays will not be accepting anymore bookings at all.

KARRYON has phone Si Holidays for further comment on the matter and is awaiting a response.

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AFTA has advised its members not accept credit or debit card payments for Si Holidays.

“ACS members are requested to notify ACS of any bookings they have made with Si Holidays for which travel has not been availed immediately via email to [email protected].”

Late last month, it emerged that the independent wholesaler was in takeover talks with another Australian company following a turbulent period which saw a number of complaints and allegations from travel agents over “customer issues” including booking cancellations and unpaid suppliers.

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“Talks have commenced owing to the recent challenges faced by Si Holidays in a consolidating market and high operational cost environment which has affected the company,” Si Holidays said in a statement at the time.

Although the company would not provide further details of the company it was in discussions with at the time, it confirmed it was another Australian wholesaler and promised that details would be released in the near future.

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Managing director Tui Eruera admitted it was “no secret that we have experienced several customer issues” over the past three months.

“The travel wholesale market has proven to be a very challenging environment and consolidation seems like the logical step forward for the company,” he said.

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Si Holidays acquired Freestyle Holidays in October 2016 from Pinpoint Travel Group.

At the time the deal included the license to operate Fiji-based Rosie Holidays in Australia, though it is understood that Rosie Holidays have since ceased all ties with Si Holidays. The wholesaler has also had their Preferred Supplier status revoked by Express Travel Group (ETG) in recent months.

The company rebranded Freestyle in June last year and then launched a new Waitui brand in November.

READ: Si Holidays launches Waitui brand to celebrate best of Fiji & South Pacific

READ: Si outlines plans to shake up the world of travel

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