Travel agents are being urged to get behind a national campaign to raise funds for holidays for low-income key workers.
The ‘Give Them A Break’ not-for-profit initiative, which was launched in May by industry professionals, is asking agents to host fundraising events or encourage clients to donate.
The campaign is working with the Family Holiday Association to raise £25,000 by September to fund holidays and days out for critical workers on low incomes.
It is also offering discounted breaks to key workers through tour operator partners which sign up to the campaign.
In total the campaign aims to give out 10,000 discounted or free holidays to key workers.
Rachel McCaffery, who set up the campaign, said: “We’ve set an initial target of £25,000 but the sky’s the limit; we’d love to raise £100,000.
“We want to let people know about the opportunity and reach out to agents because they are the human face on the front line of travel.
“Now, more than ever, while they are talking to more consumers about holidays, is the perfect time to talk about how much low income key workers could benefit from a holiday.”
McCaffery, who runs sustainable tourism consultancy GreenCase Consulting, plans talks with consortia but also hopes individual agents will take up the cause and run their own fundraisers.
She said: “The message is about the importance of holidays; there is such a positive role travel can play to help people on the front line to recover. We’re all mindful of the contribution key workers have made; some have been unable to see their own kids and for many it is has been very traumatic.”
She added: “Whether agents put collection boxes in their agencies, include a donation in the booking price or do some fun fundraising, we’d love them to share their events and ideas with us so we can put them on social media.”
Agents can get ideas for socially distanced fundraising, screen displays and posters by sending an email to email@example.com.
Visit Britain and UKInbound have already endorsed the campaign while scores of holiday brands have signed up to offer discounted breaks. They include: Hyatt UK, Intrepid Travel, Travelbag, Travel Republic, Alpha Rooms, Teletext Holidays, TransIndus, Rainbow Tours, Regent Holidays and Elegant Resorts.
“We’ve had loads of positive support and we think we’ll get more brands on board as UK tourism really starts to gear up again,” added McCaffery.
Key workers earning less than £34,000 as a family will be able to apply via the FHA for a day trip or holiday.
Give Them A Break has no funding and all 12 travel industry staff (pictured)– some of whom are furloughed and some working – have volunteered to help run the campaign.