Holiday firm looks to the future with support from Lloyds Bank
A Walsall based travel firm that has lost thousands of holiday bookings because of the COVID-19 pandemic has safeguarded its future and is continuing to support its customers, after securing £800,000 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) from Lloyds Bank.
Parrys International Tours, which operates a wide range of luxury coach holidays, faced unprecedented circumstances from the coronavirus outbreak with the forced closure of the tourism sector.
The business takes more than 25,000 people on holiday every year with a fleet of 16 state-of-the-art tourist coaches to destinations in the UK, Ireland and Europe. The firm, which was established in 1973, is also renowned for its theatre break tours to London, which has won the business legions of loyal customers from across the Midlands region.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit and 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.
Parrys International Tours’ founder and managing director David Parry contacted the firm’s longstanding banking partner Lloyds Bank for support and secured a £800,000 funding package using the CBILS, which provides funding for businesses that are experiencing lost or deferred income as a result of coronavirus.
The funding has enabled the business to maintain its customer bookings and reservations service during the pandemic, giving it sufficient funds to deal with customers wanting to either postpone their trips to a later date, or secure a credit note or refund, whilst also being able to meet its own operational overheads and staff costs.
The loan will also allow Parrys International Tours to more effectively trade back out of the pandemic when lockdown measures are lifted for the tourism industry, providing cash flow to support the roll out of its 2021 tour programme and possible future cash refunds for customers.
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.
Established in 1973, Parrys International Tours is based at Cheslyn Hay, near Walsall and has been a customer of Lloyds Bank since 2007. The firm operates one of the most modern and well-equipped touring coach fleets in Europe.
David Parry, managing director, Parrys International Tours, 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 forty-seven 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 forty 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 anager, Lloyds Bank, said: “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. This includes arrangement fee free overdrafts, capital repayment holidays on loans for businesses that have been severely affected, and the Coronavirus Business Loan Interruption Scheme to ensure the continued provision of finance to UK businesses.”