TORONTO — For this edition of ‘It Happened This Week’, the failure of a major tour operator made Travelweek’s front page for 3 issues, all within a week and a half, in late March and early April.
The March 31 headline was ‘Failure could reach $1.5 million’. The second headline, on April 3, was ‘Caven recommends trust accounting’. And the third headline, on April 10, was ‘Retailers rally to invest in tour firm’.
The company in question? Unitours.
As the March 31 article notes, Ontario’s then-registrar Doug Caven told Travelweek that Unitours’ closure would almost certainly exceed $1 million, and could even hit $1.5 million, the maximum for the Comp Fund.
In the April 3 follow-up story, Caven told ACTA-Ontario AGM attendees that Unitours’ failure underlined the need for trust accounting. “I know that puts a shudder through every agent,” he said.
A second follow-up story on April 10 told how unnamed members of the trade had garnered commitments of $600,000 to salvage what they could of Unitours’ operations. “The retail community has had enough of bankruptcies … Agents liked the quality of product Unitours offered and they don’t want that product dispersed to other tour operators,” said one.
The coverage of the Unitours failure over 3 issues underlines not just the importance of the story, but also Travelweek’s twice-weekly publishing schedule. In the late 1970s, when competitors were publishing every two weeks or monthly, Travelweek made the move to twice weekly, on a Monday & Thursday schedule. The frequency meant Travelweek could break more stories, and follow them up quickly just days later.
Did the 3 headlines appear in Travelweek in 1982, 1984 or 1986?
Fill out the contest form below, with your guess and your email address. We’ll announce the answer and the winner next week, along with the next contest headline. Last week’s headline about Virgin Atlantic and Roots Air ran in March 2001. Our winner for Week #5 is Fiona Barclay from Trees4Travel. Congratulations Fiona!
Every Wednesday in Travelweek Daily, we’re posting an article from Travelweek’s archives, spanning the years 1973 – 2023. Guess the correct year the story ran, and you could win a $50 Amazon gift card. There’s a new headline and a new chance to win every single week.