Agents urge trade bodies to negotiate better deals with energy suppliers

By Lisa James
01/09/2022
Home » Agents urge trade bodies to negotiate better deals with energy suppliers

Campaign group TARGET is asking trade bodies to come together to create an energy buying group and negotiate the most competitive fuel deals for members as concern grows over rising prices.

It’s one of a number of ideas TARGET has suggested to tackle what it calls a ‘quadruple whammy’ from the energy crisis.

TARGET says agents face potentially losing bookings, seeing massive increases in energy bills, plus other increased business costs and being unable employ staff because of financial restrictions.

Founders Graeme Brett and Jill Waite have written to ABTA to ask for more support for what they say are ‘serious challenges facing travel agents and in particular those with retail or office premises’.

In the letter, they urge ABTA to ‘take the lead on targeted support for all travel agency businesses’ in calling on the Government to cap energy prices for businesses and extending the repayment period for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

TARGET has also asked ABTA to arrange a free conference call on energy saving options for agents and liaise with other trade bodies to coordinate money saving options for agents.

“Examples include creating an energy buying group to bid for cheaper energy contracts for travel agents and to provide interest-free loans to travel agents to introduce energy efficient measures into their business,” TARGET says in the letter.

TARGET has spoken out after hospitality sector leaders hit the headlines this week when they urged the Government to act swiftly to save restaurant and pubs from closure due to price hikes.

TARGET added: “A number of members have commented that UKHospitality is leading the fight for their members and we need the travel trade bodies to fight in the same way for our members.”

The idea for the buying group is based on a collective energy switching scheme which has been run by Graeme’s local authority, North Tyneside Council, for several years.

Residents who signed up to the scheme, which brings people together to negotiate the most competitive deal for their fuel bills, have saved hundreds of pounds.

Graeme told Travel Gossip: “Come October, with potential bookings dropping, there is now real concern among agents.

“We’re urging leaders to give help and advice to members, he said.

“Our local council successfully got residents joining together and negotiated with all the energy suppliers to get the best rate.

“The same could be done for travel. That needs to come from ABTA and the trade bodies.”

ABTA said a meeting of the Future Travel Coalition will discuss the energy crisis next week.

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