Byline: Mike Comerford Daily Herald Business Writer
Layoffs at Destination Europe Resources in Rosemont are the latest evidence of a devastated travel booking industry, which now is seeking a $5 billion federal aid package.
Also known as DER Travel, the wholesaler laid off 30 of its nearly 200 workers on Friday, citing the industrywide downturn since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.
"The tragedies of September 11 have affected the whole industry," said Lynn Bobak, spokeswoman for the company. "We do not anticipate more layoffs."
DER Travel has also waived its cancellation penalties until Oct. 15 for travel through the end of the year. Cancellation penalties can vary from a $50 administrative fee to the full price of the trip.
The closely-held travel wholesaler to travel agents was a subsidiary of the German state railway Deutsche Bahn until October of last year. Four principals bought it and are managing it.
The economic impact of terrorism is being felt throughout travel-related industries. Except for a statement ad on the tragedies in newspapers last week, airlines have pulled ads.
Meanwhile, on the heels of approval of a $15 billion federal aid package for the nation's airlines, the top executive at Carlson Cos. Inc. is leading a delegation to Washington in search of federal help for travel agencies.
Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairwoman and chief executive of the giant Minnetonka, Minn. …