In the wake of the Excite Holidays collapse last week, agent anger is being directed towards the wholesaler’s connected online startup business ‘travelyou.com’ which was scheduled for launch this month.
Excite Holidays entered into voluntary administration with KPMG last Friday after increasing speculation around the company’s financial wellbeing in recent months.
As a consequence, countless angry and frustrated agents have been left out of pocket and out of favour with their clients due to dishonoured pre-paid bookings.
travelyou.com was launched on Social Media channels Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin in mid-2019 and pitched as an online-only publication and travel booking platform, led by Excite Holidays managing director Nicholas Stavropoulos.
The company described themselves on their LinkedIn page as: “A travel publication. Here to disrupt the norm, & challenge how people dream, plan & play when they travel.”
While travelyou.com still says it is ‘coming soon’ on its homepage, the company’s Facebook page had remained active until yesterday with new posts going out to 15,500 followers.
In the last few days, the Facebook page and posts had received numerous scathing comments from travel agents linking travelyou.com to the collapse of Excite Holidays. A hashtag: #travelyoumoreliketravelfraud has also been started by a collective of agents and also posted on the company Facebook page.
Holly Nation commented: “Congratulations Travel You 👏👏 run Excite Holidays into the ground, leave all your agents out of pocket thousands and thousands of dollars but I guess that’s ok your on to your next company. #travelyoumoreliketravelfraud consumers beware!”
Another post on the company’s Facebook page talking about the recent bushfires had also been hit with numerous negative comments from agents.
travelyou.com’s Instagram page, which had around 17,000 followers and their LinkedIn page was also taken down yesterday.
Karryon understands numerous international and domestic destinations and suppliers had been approached in recent months by travelyou.com sales representatives in a bid to secure campaign funds for the site launch and beyond.
A handful of Excite Holidays staff had begun working for travelyou.com in September last year with many visible at key travel events locally and overseas. It’s believed they have since left the business.
Visit Britain also ran a campaign with travelyou.com in December 2019 which featured a choir in Pitt Street Mall in Sydney with Christmas gifts handed out to passers-by.
The first creditors meeting for Excite’s collapse will take place at Sydney’s Wesley Conference Centre on 22 January at 11 am (AEDT).
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