Agents are playing a valuable role in sorting out problems, ABTA tells Government

By Linsey McNeill
Home » Agents are playing a valuable role in sorting out problems, ABTA tells Government

ABTA’s Chief Executive Mark Tanzer has written to the committee that has been looking at the travel fiasco over the May half-term holiday to point out the valuable role played by agents.

In his letter to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee, ABTA said he highlighted the valuable role – and passion – travel agents have in helping customers.

He wrote:  “It’s important MPs on the Committee understand the travel industry’s complex supply chain. Travel agents in particular are wholly reliant on the published inventories and flight schedules of airlines and tour operators and have no control over some of the operational issues seen in recent weeks.

“It’s also important these recent issues continue to be put into context. For anyone caught up in the delays or cancellations it will have been a stressful and upsetting time, but most people were able to travel without issue. This is something we continue to emphasise in all of our communications – with media, politicians and consumers.”

He also pointed out, again, that the Government’s decision not to give the travel industry sector-specific support and to withdraw the furlough scheme long before travel restrictions were lifted had contributed towards the current staffing crisis.

In his letter, he added: “We continue to work hard to make sure that politicians don’t lose sight of the challenging environment the whole industry has had to operate in over recent years and the solutions the industry needs to support its recovery.

“Government does need to act to make the recruitment process easier and should look at adding the aviation-specific jobs to the UK’s shortage occupations list, which would enable staff to be hired more easily from abroad.”

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