Calls for extended support for travel agents as Joe Walsh Tours closes after 60 years

Calls for extended support for travel agents as Joe Walsh Tours closes after 60 years

Joe Walsh Tours has ceased trading after 60 years in operation.

Well-known travel agent Joe Walsh Tours has ceased trading in what has been described as “a sad day for the travel industry”.

One of Ireland’s oldest travel agents, Joe Walsh Tours has announced its decision to cease trading after 60 years in business.

In a statement, the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) said that Joe Walsh Pilgrimtours Ltd. is “unable to fulfil its obligations to its customers”.

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) noted with regret that the company is closing and called for the Government to extend support for travel agents into next year.

Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA said that it “is a sad day for the travel industry as this long-established agent closes its doors”.

“Joe Walsh Tours was established in 1961 and was one of Ireland’s leading travel companies through the decades, certainly one of the best known.

“Indeed many travel agents throughout the country learnt their trade with JWT before opening up their own travel agencies," he said.

Mr Dawson said that the closure highlights the difficulties that the travel industry has been experiencing.

“The Irish Travel Agents Association call on the Government to extend income support for travel agents into 2022 when the public are back travelling and holidaying again.” 

As a bonded travel agent, Joe Walsh Tours customers who booked travel commencing in Ireland may be eligible for a refund under the Commission’s consumer protection scheme.

“We advise anyone affected to contact CAR and complete a claim form,” concluded Mr Dawson.

In a statement, Joe Walsh Pilgrimtours Ltd. said that it has not traded since the start of the pandemic, however, they have remained open during this time to assist customers with refunds and rebookings.

Commenting on the decision today to cease trading, the company's directors said: "The decision that has been made is in the best interest of all concerned. We would like to thank, at this time, all our customers over the years. We would also like to acknowledge the incredible effort that our staff have made, and for their loyalty and support, particularly during the last year."

Holidaymakers who have a holiday booking with Joe Walsh Tours and have concerns should contact the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR). 

Details can be found here.

Clients may also be covered by the Refund Credit Note Scheme if their holiday has been cancelled due to Covid-19 and they have yet to receive a refund from Joe Walsh Pilgrimtours Ltd.

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