CONTEST: Was it 1979, 1984 or 1990? ‘Will direct-sell Sunfare be back?’

CONTEST: Was it 1979, 1984 or 1990? ‘Will direct-sell Sunfare be back?’

Direct-sell operations that bypass travel agents have been the bane of the retail travel community for decades. In this case, one of those direct-sell companies was going belly up.

The headline for this edition of ‘It Happened This Week’ is: ‘Will direct-sell Sunfare be back?’

As Travelweek notes, Sunfare Holidays, a tour operator that went head-to-head with travel agents the previous year when it bypassed the retail distribution channel, was now selling off its furniture and seemed to be closing up shop.

A Travelweek staffer visited the Sunfare offices and asked if the company was going out of business. An employee said: “Well … yes.”

And a travel industry supplier who had done work for Sunfare said she was told that the company would not be opening up again for the winter season. No one was answering the phones either

Sunfare had complained to the Canadian Bureau of Competition Policy that it was being deprived of product by the actions of other Canadian tour operators.

Here’s a hint: while tour ops that ‘go direct’ have long been a frustration for travel agents, the biggest disrupter to hit the retail travel industry – the Internet – was just a few years down the line when this headline ran.

Did the headline appear in Travelweek in 1974, 1981 or 1990?

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 Southwest and ValuJet ran in July 1995. Our winner for Week #19 is Sarah Reed with Country Junction Travel in B.C. Congratulations Sarah!


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.

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