Six Budget Travel employees in the city lost their jobs this week, with the closure of the chain’s Barronstrand Street shop.
A total of 14 Budget Travel shops have closed nationwide as part of a restructuring plan within the company. The decision has been described as a response to ‘customers clear preference for internet bookings’ and a slump in bookings which has left the company facing a €5 million loss this year.
A spokesperson for Budget, the country’s largest tour operator, stressed that anyone who has booked holidays at the local shop will not be affected by the closure
Overall, business is down 40 per cent, and Budget calculates that its bookings have fallen off by about 33 per cent. This year, it expects bookings to reach 180,000, compared to 270,000 in 2008.
“The key to the future is to have a business model that has maximum flexibility to respond to volatile demand while remaining profitable,” a spokesperson told The Munster Express.