Published on Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Travelopia has closed TrekAmerica and started a consultation process with head office staff with a view to axing around 25% of the roles.
The UK arm of the Travelopia Adventure division includes the Exodus Travels, Headwater and TrekAmerica brands, and operates from headquarters in Surbiton and Northwich.
A company spokewoman said around 30 people are expected to leave the business.
TrekAmerica customers have been told they can receive a full refund or switch bookings to sister brand Exodus Travel.
The operator blamed 'ongoing uncertainty from Covid' for the decision to shut down the brand, adding that it was 'incredibly sad' that no more trips would operate.
"As of today, we're no longer taking bookings. If you already have a booking with us, we'll be offering a full refund, or you can transfer your booking to a trip with our sister company, Exodus Travels or Exodus Edits," TrekAmerica said on its website.
"Our team will be in touch directly with everyone with a booking over the coming days to arrange this, and we appreciate your patience in waiting for us to contact you.
"This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make.
"For almost 50 years, we've been honoured to be part of your incredible travel stories. Even though we're driving off into the sunset, we hope the friends and memories our Trek community have made will live on in our Trekkers for many more years to come."
In December, Travelopia announced that TrekAmerica staff had been folded into Exodus.
But at the time, Exodus Managing Director Sam Seward said the Trek brand was a 'celebrated and trusted home for some phenomenal and iconic tours'.
"The whole Exodus team is excited about the potential synergies and opportunity offered by integrating the Trek business into our global adventure operation," he said.
Following the announcement that TrekAmerica will close, Sam said: "We are living in very challenging times, with the global pandemic affecting everyone in a profound way. We have seen our business move from record-breaking revenue figures in January to the worst year in our 46-year history.
"It has been a horrible time for the entire team, who have worked tirelessly to put our customers' safety and happiness first.
"We have already implemented a range of measures to protect jobs as far as possible, however, due to the severity of the impact of the pandemic on our ability to operate our trips, as well as a significant reduction in forward bookings, it is with deep regret that we must take steps to reduce the size of our team.
"Closing the Trek America brand after nearly 50 years of fabulous USA adventure has been a difficult decision. Falling demand for destination USA and rising costs had already weakened passenger volumes significantly prior to the pandemic and our need to now focus on our core brands is pivotal.
"We have a robust recovery plan for the year ahead, but for a values-driven company like ours that lays its foundations in happiness, ambition and acting responsibly, it is incredibly difficult to accept that a number of our hard-working, talented team will be leaving us."
Thanking his team, he added: "Their loyalty, passion and skills will make them an asset to any employer in any sector, though we hope to be in a position to re-employ our people as and when the market recovers."
Similar reorganisation processes are also underway in the division's overseas offices.