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Traces Group: a dark future ahead for Consult Voyages and Antipodes Voyages?

Antipodes Voyages owes a “large” million to the BSP

Antipodes Voyages owes a “large” million euros. Alain Clavel, President of the Council, insures that this is due to an administrative and accounting problem. This piece of information revives old rumors on Consult Voyages. According to our information, APST has been looking closely at the group for a few months and would want to see its eventual downfall. But that won’t be an easy feat… investigates.

Rédigé par Céline Eymery translated by Joséphine Foucher le Mardi 2 Décembre 2014

Traces Group: a dark future ahead for Consult Voyages and Antipodes Voyages?
Antipodes Voyages owes a considerable sum to BSP according to La Quotidienne.

It could be up to a “large” million euros. Alain Clavel, president of the Council, quoted by our colleague minimizes the sitution: it is “only an administrative and accounting error” that will be dealt with this week.

Contacted by our team, he wants to avoid amalgams with Consult Voyages (Traces): “At Antipodes Voyages, I don’t hold an operational function, yet I manage Traces.

However, the two entities are completely separate, they don’t have the same shareholders…”

According to our information, this would be the 3rd time that Antipodes doesn’t pay BSP in time in the last year and a half, all under various brands.

However, the first two unpaid bills were resolved. But they weren’t small sums: 1.8 million euros and more than 2 million euros.

Will it be the case again this time or has the travel agency gone overboard?

Antipodes Voyages is a B2B producer that works with “networks and actors of the Internet.” For Alain Clavel, who estimates the unpaid bill to amount to 600,000 euros, everything should soon get back in order.

As a reminder: the company just recently sold 5 Destination Privilèges agencies to Univairmer.

This information on Antipodes Voyages also revived rumors on the financial fragility of Consult Voyages that have been circulating for a few months.

Gossip” that Alain Clavel disproves: “We’ve been announced dead for over a year and a half and yet we’re still here,” he says.

DMCs waiting to be paid

Sure, yet various incoming agencies still have unpaid bills.

This is a case for a Norwegian DMC that is still waiting for the remainder of a payment of a CE group that left last June.

After various requests, the travel company was able to be paid €10,000. Yet, it is still waiting for more than €25,000!

“Alain Clavel offered various payment timeframes that were never respected. He even gave us transfer orders with no money coming at the end.

We managed to be paid back €10,000, but since then we’ve been hitting a wall, no one returns our calls at Traces. We even told the SNAV and ASPT, but no one is budging.

So we hired a collection agency to take care of the case,”
specifies the DMC’s commercial director.

Same story for another incoming agency specialized on Italy. “On various trips, the payments were done only a few days prior to departure, and we’re still waiting to be paid for a group that left in June 2014, an amount of 9,800 euros,” explains a representative.

It is today impossible for him to get a hold of Alain Clavel. Even though he responded to our call and stated: “these are two unique cases, and the amounts are not big, they are worth around 30,000 euros in total…”

Fundraising still ongoing...

But for these small structures, these amounts are quite significant…

And they are not two isolated cases, since we’ve heard of two other incoming agencies that are also claiming what they’re owed to Alain Clavel.

“I would need to look more into it, because if the amounts are not high, then they don’t appear directly in my tablets,” he explains.

It is hard to see clearly, because while some providers confirm that some bills have not been paid, others, however, were paid in full with tighter delays.

Interviewed in our columns last June, Alain Clavel announced new developments with the opening of branches in the Province, thanks to a new fundraiser.

He hoped to reach between €1M and €2M. Today, he states pursuing this fundraising without giving more details. Administrative difficulties are blocking, according to a few sources, the arrival of these funds.

On the razor’s edge for a few months, what will become of Antipodes Voyages and Consult Voyages?

While some are convinced of their inevitable downfall, others are more careful, especially since they’re still doing business with these companies.

In the meantime, the partners and providers we contacted mentioned that they wished professional bodies could take more informed opinions on this case…as opposed to letting rumors drown the sector.

We think, however, that decisions at this level will soon be taken.

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