Abta says it has “made it clear” to government that it feels that travel businesses hit by impact of the pandemic should be entitled to larger restart grants.

Applications for the government scheme, confirmed in the Budget last month as part of a wider scheme of business support, opened today for businesses in England.

Travel agencies are currently entitled to one off grants of up to £6,000 as non-essential retail premises.

Hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care, and gym businesses are however entitled to as much as £18,000.


More: Lobby group calls for grants for English agencies


The value of grants given out in both strands is on a staggered basis, based on the rateable value of a retail property.

In the lower amount for non-essential retailers, in which travel agencies currently fall, the following amounts are offered:

  • Businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £2,667;
  • Businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and less than £51,000 on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £4,000; and
  • Businesses occupying a property with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or more on 1 April 2021 will receive a payment of £6,000.

Abta told Travel Weekly: “We have made it clear to the government that we believe travel businesses should be eligible for the higher strand (a grant of ‘up to’ £18,000), along with hospitality, leisure and personal care businesses.”

The association urged travel firms to check their eligibility for the grants. Earlier today, it tweeted to remind members that applications are open.

Abta also pointed out that non-ratepaying travel businesses who do not qualify for the government’s Restart Grant should be eligible for funding under the (discretionary) Additional Restrictions Grant.

It has previously called for restart grants to be extended to companies that were closed due to Covid but no not have a retail premisis.