ABTA has written to Government ministers, once again urging them to act to save travel jobs and businesses.
In an open letter, signed by Chief Executive Mark Tanzer and Chairman Alistair Rowland, ABTA says: “We’ve already lost a sizeable part of the season and ongoing restrictions on travel, combined with the pending rise in furlough and business rates payments, mean that many travel businesses, particularly small to medium-sized companies, are teetering on the edge of a financial cliff.”
The letter, addressed to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, adds: “It is this time of year when most travel businesses make their money. The critical summer weeks account for around two thirds of annual income for many travel agencies and tour operators – vital revenue that carries those businesses through the rest of the year. But not this year.”
It says the devastation can still be avoided, if the Government takes urgent action to support businesses through the crisis.
In addition to calling for sector-specific support, including the extension of furlough and business rates relief at current levels, which are due to rise this week, the letter also urges more destinations to be added to the green list and to relax quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers returning from amber list countries.
“It is a terrifying prospect for many of our members. Our latest analysis shows that the industry has seen 195,000 jobs already lost or put at risk. This figure will increase notably in the coming weeks in the absence of Government action.
“This summer season is the most important ever for the outbound travel industry. We are asking you to act now to save jobs and businesses and to set the industry on the road to recovery.”