Popular Australian accommodation website Check-in.com.au – which claims to have taken one million bookings since it was founded in 2002 – was today placed in voluntary liquidation and is no longer processing new bookings.
An email sent to the industry said there’ll be a creditor’s meeting in June and told hoteliers that if they are holding “future bookings to please contact the guest to arrange direct booking and payment.
“For a refund to be issued, please advise the guest to submit a claim to their credit card provider,” the email said.
“If their credit card provider is unable to assist in providing the guest with a refund, the guest should contact the liquidator, Holzman Associates for further assistance.”
Liquidator Manfred Holzman said he’d been only given the job today and declined to comment on the number and nature of creditors.
At this stage the website is still up and running with no indication of its financial trauma.
However, while all appears normal as as users navigate the booking process, the final page says the “website is undergoing maintenance and not processing reservations”.
Check-in.com.au was founded by Managing Director Simon Isaacs 11 years ago.
The site has historically performed well in terms of traffic with Mr Isaacs telling TravelTrends.biz in 2010 that it was attracting 450,000 unique visitors a month.
However, at the time he said rising search engine marketing costs had become a major challenge for the business.
As result, Check-in.com.au increased commission to 15% to give it extra funds it needed to compete with the free-spending multi-national online travel agencies.
Mr Isaacs has been contacted for comment but has not yet responded.