Algarve pioneer holiday company in administration

A British package holiday company credited with “discovering” the Algarve as a holiday destination has gone into administration.

The Travel Club of Upminster, which was established in 1936, sold holidays to the Balearic Islands, Portugal and Greece.

On Tuesday this week its administrators, Shipleys, said the company was “unable to continue trading as a result of an inability to meet guaranteed payments to key overseas accommodation suppliers”.

Only a few dozen customers are thought to have forward bookings with the company, which was not bonded because it sold accommodation independently of flights.

The Travel Club of Upminster was established by Harry and Rene Chandler, following a cycling tour of Switzerland.

The family then started selling the first discernible package holidays to Portugal – and are credited with “discovering” the Algarve as a holiday destination.

The business traded successfully through to the turn of the 21st century, but the proliferation of choice made possible by the low-cost airlines undercut its business model.

For the past two weeks, the company has been seeking another buyer.

The Chandler family sold the business two years ago.