A Black Country travel firm has secured £800,000 in new funding to help it continue operations and offer support to its holidaymakers affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Walsall-based Parrys International Tours says it has safeguarded its future after losing thousands of holiday bookings due to the coronavirus lockdown.
The £800,000 package has been agreed with Lloyds Bank through the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
When the coronavirus lockdown was enforced, the business had to cancel all its scheduled coach holidays until at least August, resulting in a significant decrease in turnover and substantial cash flow issues.
The new funding has enabled it to maintain its customer bookings and reservations service during the pandemic, giving it sufficient funds to deal with travellers wanting to either postpone their trips or secure a credit note or refund.
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The capital will also support its own operational overheads and staff costs and help it to trade back out of the pandemic when lockdown measures are lifted for the tourism industry.
While the business has had to furlough all its 18-strong team of drivers and couriers, as well six members of office staff, the funding from Lloyds Bank has helped to safeguard their jobs for the future.
Parrys International Tours, which operates a wide range of luxury coach holidays, normally takes more than 25,000 people on holiday every year with a fleet of 16 coaches to destinations in the UK, Ireland and Europe.
The firm, which was established in 1973, also specialises in theatre break tours to London.
Founder and managing director David Parry said: “Before the coronavirus outbreak hit, we’d made a very strong start to 2020, with a high number of advance bookings and plans to expand our fleet with two new coaches and two new mini-coaches.
“But the impact of the pandemic has been truly unprecedented and like nothing we’ve ever experienced in our 47-year trading history.
“The support we’ve received from Lloyds Bank has provided us with a lifeline to manage our way through this disruption as we try our best to look after our incredibly loyal customers, some of whom have been holidaying with us for 40 years.
“When restrictions are lifted and the public’s appetite to travel returns, we expect to be very busy as everyone has been restricted from taking their much-loved holidays.”
Mark Corfield, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, added: “”We’ve been banking partner to Parrys International Tours for more than a decade and know it to be a thriving and prosperous business.
“But of course, the coronavirus outbreak has hit the leisure and tourism sector hard and inevitably the business has been severely impacted.
“We’re working closely with our customers across the Midlands to offer support in managing their cash flow during these turbulent times.”