Thousands of Dutch tourists affected by TravelBird's money problems

At least 40 thousand tourists have been affected by TravelBird's money problems, the majority of them are Dutch, according to guarantee fund SGR. The Amsterdam based travel agency filed for deferment of payment last week, newspaper AD reports.

SGR is currently working with tour operator TUI to make sure that some 6 thousand people can still enjoy their holiday, Carin Beckers, deputy director of SGR, said to the newspaper. According to Beckers, TravelBird never paid for customers' hotel rooms. Airline tickets were paid for in advance. As a result, customers could get to their destination, but had nowhere to stay once there. 

TravelBird sold holidays to some 7 million customers since it opened in 2010, according to the newspaper. The first cracks in the company appeared last week. Consumers' organization Consumentenbond received dozens of complaints from TravelBird customers who could not enter their hotel because the travel agency never paid for it. 

The travel agency then confirmed that there were payment delays, but expected to be able to resolve the problems, according to the newspaper. That did not happen. 'There was a takeover candidate in the picture, but it fell through at the very last minute", a spokesperson for TravelBird said to AD.