OPENCart, a UK-based online travel agency that lets visitors create their own opencart websites and book their travel, has announced it will not renew its lease with the British Embassy in Dublin.
OpenCart, founded by a former Airbnb co-founder, says it will be shutting down in April next year after being forced to leave the UK due to government restrictions on renting out rooms online.
It said it would focus on its other business and had already secured another deal with the Irish embassy.
Ireland has strict rules on the number of hotel rooms available online and OpenCart has been accused of charging hotels extra for booking rooms on its website.
However, the company said it was not forced to change its business model.
It said it will offer accommodation to tourists in Ireland as a free service and will continue to provide accommodation in Dublin until it is shut down.
Online travel company OpenCart said it had signed a contract with the Dublin Embassy to operate in Ireland, following the Brexit vote in the UK.
The company said in a statement that it would now concentrate on its Dublin office.
The decision to shut down the Dublin office was made after a number of meetings with staff and the Government, OpenCart’s chairman, Michael McQuaid, told the Irish Independent.
The Irish embassy said it did not comment on individual contracts.
Online Travel Association spokesman Ian MacBride said the decision to close down the company was not unexpected.
“It was a tough decision to make because of the uncertainty of the UK Government and our clients,” he said.
“We have been working with OpenCart since day one, and this has been the right decision for the company, its customers and the people of Ireland.”
Online Travel Ireland general manager Stephen McNamara said the move to end OpenCart would not have a significant impact on its operations.
“They are operating in the Irish market, they are operating internationally, they’re operating in a very tight environment in Dublin,” he told the BBC.
Online travel agency OpenCart was founded by former Airbnb founder Michael Mcquaid and has been criticised for charging hotels an extra fee for booking their rooms online, particularly in the capital, Dublin.”
The company is still open and operating.”
Online travel agency OpenCart was founded by former Airbnb founder Michael Mcquaid and has been criticised for charging hotels an extra fee for booking their rooms online, particularly in the capital, Dublin.
The Dublin-based company has faced a number other problems with its business, including the closure of its website in April.