A travel agent says she is heartened by her local MP’s decision to champion the industry’s cause with government following her letter as part of Abta’s Save Future Travel campaign.

John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne in south Yorkshire and shadow secretary of state for defence, wrote to the chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak demanding more support for travel firms or the risk of thousands of job losses.

It follows a letter to his office by Emma Kayne, owner of Kayne Travel, who wrote to her MP as part of Abta’s campaign to save the industry.
Healey’s letter to the chancellor said: “Kayne Travel is a very popular and successful start-up. They and other firms tell me of their frustration with ministers who have muddied the waters for customers and the industry alike, expressing their concerns about the lack of concrete support they are receiving from government.

“Without immediate action, and additional help, successful UK travel companies are at risk of going under, which will result in thousands of job losses and thousands of customers losing money….Ministers should now put their weight behind small travel firms…For any return to normal to take place after the pandemic, the industry must be supported by government.”

Kayne already has a good working relationship with her MP, who attended the opening of the travel agency in Wath-Upon-Dearne in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, in 2019.

She said it was important agents were supported by local MPs. She said: “We can’t always get to the people that will listen so it’s nice to have some support. I didn’t prompt my MP, he picked this up and emailed me having written a letter to the chancellor. It does give me hope.

“It’s a scary time in travel. We are really forgotten at the moment. We don’t know what our futures will be. Our voice needs to be heard.”

Kayne is confident her agency will survive the pandemic but is working single-handedly to run the business while her three staff are furloughed. She said it was critical consumers understood the situation agents were in and were educated on Refund Credit Notes.

“It’s about educating people on the process and that a Refund Credit Note is equivalent to cash,” she added.