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 GARDEN GROVE, Calif., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Contiki Holidays, a tour company specializing in travel for 18-35-year-olds, is helping out the nearly 5,000 students left stranded by the defunct Massachusetts- based tour operator, American Leadership Study Groups (ALSG), by offering 10-15 percent discounts on its European tours to any affected groups. According to Contiki officials, in case Contiki's scheduled tours are sold-out, supplementary departures can be added. Additionally, custom-design, "Special Group" tours can be created for most of the ALSG groups.
 Contiki is already assisting one ALSG group, and is working out arrangements with others, report company officials. All groups affected by the closing of ALSG will receive 10 percent discounts on Contiki's Time-Out hotel tours and 15 percent on the more rustic concept tours.
 To qualify for the Contiki offer, the group organizers need only provide a receipt or canceled check showing payment in full or funds deposited with ALSG. Passengers who paid deposits for 1994 ALSG trips to Europe also are entitled to discounts from Contiki.
 On Thursday, June 3, ALSG abruptly closed its doors for business. In its wake, the company left almost 5,000 people from across the country, primarily high school and college students from states including New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Ohio and Virginia, with worthless travel plans.
 "We have tremendous sympathy for the students and groups who have lost money in this unfortunate incident. I hope that, in our own way, Contiki can help alleviate some of the disappointment," stated Jerri Ross, Contiki's president, pointing out that this scenario "only further demonstrates the need to carefully check out prospective travel companies."
 To protect themselves against fraud and insolvency, Ms. Ross suggests consumers use a tour company that belongs to an organization with a consumer plan, such as the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), National Tour Association (NTA) or American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). Contiki is a member of all three organizations, including USTOA, whose protection plan provides up to $5 million in case of a member-company bankruptcy or default. Ms. Ross also recommends that consumers always work through a bona-fide travel agent.
 Teachers, sponsors and organizers who wish to continue with their plans to visit Europe should contact Erin Paul, reservations manager at Contiki, 714-740-0808, or their travel agent.
 -0- 6/10/93
 /CONTACT: Jennifer Ehrman or Dana Lauren of Herman Associates Public Relations, 212-935-2832, for Contiki Holidays/

CO: Contiki Holidays ST: California, Massachusetts IN: LEI SU:

LR-SH -- NY023 -- 0547 06/10/93 10:41 EST
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 10, 1993

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