Vacansoleil Bankruptcy Sparks Investigation and Consumer Concerns in Belgium

Alexia Bertrand, the State Secretary for Consumer Protection from Open VLD, has instructed the economic inspectorate to thoroughly investigate the case of Vacansoleil. The Dutch tour operator faced bankruptcy on Thursday, and concerns have arisen as it seems the company lacks insurance coverage against financial insolvency, a legal requirement in Belgium.

Bertrand has urged the victims affected by the bankruptcy of Vacansoleil’s Belgian branch to contact the curators to attempt to recover their funds. Customers can also file complaints with the reporting point of the Federal Public Service Economy.

While Vacansoleil in the Netherlands is affiliated with the Travel Guarantee Fund Foundation (SGR), ensuring reimbursement or the completion of trips for customers, this security doesn’t seem to extend to those who booked with the Belgian branch.

Marcel Paapst, the Dutch spokesperson for Vacansoleil, clarified that coverage depends on the information provided on the booking form for Belgian travelers. If it specifies “Vacansoleil BV,” they may claim coverage from the SGR; however, if it mentions “Vacansoleil Belgium,” this coverage is not applicable. According to Paapst, this situation only affects a limited number of travelers, estimated to be “a few dozen.”

The lack of insurance against financial insolvency for the Belgian branch has been criticized by Testaankoop, describing it as regrettable. The consumer organization expressed disbelief that the operational status of Vacansoleil in Belgium had not been scrutinized for compliance with the mandatory insurance requirement, deeming it “incomprehensible.”

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