The Transport Secretary has apologised to agents for comments he made that implied they were a thing of the past.
Grant Shapps made the apology when he visited Off Broadway Travel, the agency in Welwyn village, which is in his constituency.
The agency had invited him to come and visit after his comment ‘travel companies…what people would have called travel agents, perhaps, in the past’.
Off Broadway Travel Partner Paul Rice said: “Mr Shapps apologised for his comments.
“He told us he was sorry and said that, when you have TV cameras, you say things in the moment and don’t really think it through. Afterwards, he thought ‘Oh no, I shouldn’t have said that’.
“He won’t get confused again – he has been into a travel agent now.”
Mr Shapps stayed for 50 minutes, running overtime on his allocated 30-minute visit. After the meeting he promised the Off Broadway team he would go back and put all the points to Government colleagues.
“He came across as a nice guy, really professional. He sat and listened to what we had to say and gave us a lot of time to get our points across, including sector support and our concerns over the traffic light system,” Mr Rice said.
However, within hours of Mr Shapps visit, the industry and travellers were thrown another curve ball when France went onto a new ‘amber plus’ list, meaning double-jabbed Brits still have to isolated for 10 days on return.
Mr Rice added: “We were disappointed to hear about the new rules for France, but we understand that we have to keep people safe. We’re so used to these chops and changes now.
“But we do hope that Mr Shapps takes our comments on board.”
And see also: Now Shapps calls travel agents ESTATE agents