BENSALEM, Pa. -- Caribbean specialist Around Town Tours ceased
operations leaving most of its agent customers and consumers in the
Although ASTA received a letter from the company stating that it
had ceased operations, none of the agents contacted by Travel
Weekly received the letter --or any other communication from the
company. As of Nov. 28, the company's voice-mail message still
says, "We are busy helping other travel agents. Your call is
important to us."
Agents said clients were showing up at Sandals to find that
their packages had not been paid for.
"People are arriving at Sandals right now and finding out they
owe $5,000 on their package," said John Allison, owner of Ahoy
Cruise and Travel of Wildwood, N.J.
The 30-year-old operator was there one day and gone the next,
according to Beth Layton, owner of David's Travel of Mantua, N.J.,
who did business with the company for over 20 years.
"When I called I was just getting the recording," said Layton.
"My partner and I said, 'Something strange is going on.' So I got
in my car and drove over to Bensalem and the office was all dark.
The furniture is still there but there is no one there."
Agents also reported that tickets purchased from Around Town
Tours for Air Jamaica during the summer sale did not go through to
ASTA's consumer affairs department sent a letter to Around Town
Tours to check the company's status, according to Christine
Dotsler, consumer affairs coordinator and received a letter back
that was addressed to travel agents.
It said that the company had suspended operations and was
reviewing "what, if any, obligations can be paid in the
None of the agents who spoke to Travel Weekly received the
The letter informed agents that the company had not paid for
hotel reservations their clients paid for. "Thus your customers may
be charged by the hotel for their reservations," it said.
The company reportedly has not declared bankruptcy.