Coronavirus: Business Travel Association calls for business rates holiday for TMCs

The Business Travel Association (BTA) is urging the government to extend the business rates holiday to travel management companies.

The association says the measures brought in to help retail outlets amid the coronavirus pandemic will exclude most TMCs because they do not operate high street stores which are eligible for help.

It argues TMCs fulfil a similar function to a high street agent, just for leisure rather than business travel.

BTA chief executive Clive Wratten said: “It is frustrating that one branch of the travel sector is granted business rates relief based on a high street presence, whilst another is not.

“The global response to COVID-19 has shut down the travel sector worldwide and TMCs face many of the same pressures as travel agents and tour operators.”

The BTA says a business rate holiday of one year would, on average, enable each TMC to preserve sufficient cash to provide an extra two months’ liquidity.

Wratten has written to the financial secretary to the treasury, Jesse Norman, on behalf of its members, requesting the business rate holiday is given to both TMCs and travel agents.

“Once this crisis ends, the business travel industry will play a vital role in the UK’s economic recovery,” Wratten said.

“Business travellers are the people who forge the deals and build the relationships which make global trade possible, and the UK business travel industry is responsible for over 30 million transactions generating £10 billion revenue every year.”

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