The Travel Agents Reform Group Engaged Together (TARGET) has compiled a list of financial support measures that are vital for agencies to survive, including writing off loans and letting furloughed staff work.
The list has been sent to ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer, ahead of his appearance on Monday at the Treasury Select Committee.
TARGET Co-Founder Graeme Brett said: “There many been many calls for targeted support for the travel industry but nothing has specified what that support should be.
“So many of our travel agent members have shared their stories of how they have missed out on financial support by either not qualifying or being unable to claim furlough because their staff had to work to deal with cancellations.”
TARGET Co-Founder Jill Waite added: “We have collected personal stories of the difficulties faced by members, which are so moving and have forwarded these to Mark Tanzer to assist with his appearance on Monday.
“TARGET wanted to give as much support as possible to Mark Tanzer to assist with getting our voice heard by the Treasury Select Committee.”
The full list of financial help TARGET is calling for is:
1. Extension of the furlough scheme until May 2022 for travel agencies
2. Allow furloughed staff to work to process refunds, cancellations and amendments (that do not earn the travel agency any money)
3. Backdated qualification for travel agencies of the higher level of Restart Grant awarded to hospitality businesses
4. Make a one-off payment of 10% of 2019 revenue to all travel agencies including self-employed homeworkers regardless of whether they are registered as self-employed, partnership or limited company.
5. Make one-off grants to company directors and others excluded from support under the Self Employed Income Support Scheme
6. Write off the Government loans to travel agencies