The Save Future Travel Coalition has written to government calling for sector-specific grants for travel agencies in England.
The coalition of 15 travel industry trade bodies noted the “disparity” between support for affected members in England and other parts of the UK, as well as other countries.
Devolved governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have each earmarked funds to be offered to travel agencies affected by the pandemic in the form of sector-specific grants. The Welsh government does not have a specific scheme but Abta says it has made wider grants for businesses affected by Covid available to travel agencies. Abta has previously called for UK-wide parity on grants.
The Save Future Travel Coalition’s latest calls follow publication of its submission to the Global Travel Taskforce last week, which highlights the need for a risk-based approach to restarting travel and outlines the common principles the coalition believes are needed to make that happen.
The coalition has been meeting weekly, and having “frequent exchanges” between, to share ideas and coordinate messaging and activities on the restart of international travel.
In its latest statement, it said “The Coalition highlighted the lack of sector-specific grants support in England tailored at the devastating impact of constraints on trade in the international travel sector, and the disparity in financial support when compared to other sectors, other parts of the UK and other countries.
“The letter urges the government to consider a sector-specific restart grants scheme for travel to correct this imbalance, and says that any further extensions to restrictions on international travel, either across the industry or for parts of it, must be matched with adequate schemes of financial support.”
The Save Future Travel Coalition includes Abta, Aito – the specialist travel association, Advantage Travel Partnership, the African Travel and Tourism Association (Atta), the Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents (Anita), the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (Atas), the Business Travel Association (BTA) , Cruise Lines International Association UK & Ireland (Clia), Keep Travel Alive, the Latin American Travel Association (Lata), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata), Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), Seasonal Businesses in Travel (SBiT), The Travel Network Group (TTNG) and UKinbound.
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