Fellow agents and tour operator staff have rallied around in support of one-shop travel agency owner Kate Harris after her description of her struggle to keep her business afloat made national headlines.
Harris joined a Travel Weekly webcast earlier this week to discuss the impact of the chancellor’s Job Support Scheme on travel and shed tears as she explained how the programme would not help her to pay her sole employee.
She went on to explain how the lack of tailored support for the decimated travel industry had left her behind on bills, and having to take on debt for the first time in 20 years in business – and also described the host of sacrifices she made to make a success of her Leicestershire agency, Inspired Travel.
Kate’s story, which demonstrated the individual impact of government policies such as quarantine for arrivals on the multitude of small travel companies, was picked up by national media outlets including the Mail Online and the Mirror.
Meanwhile, industry professionals – many of whom have faced similar challenges – took to social media to show their support, and praised Kate for her bravery in sharing her personal story. Read their responses below.
Issy Wiggins, Owner of Goeasy Travel
Jennie Watson, former director at Travel Village
Laura Law, bespoke consultant at Colletts Travel
Lucy Harrison, former travel agent at KE Adventure Travel
Paul Philpott, Beacon Travel Service Worldchoice
Ushma Valerio, personal travel consultant at Not Just Travel
Amanda Slade, self employed homeworker
Elaine Kane, assistant branch manager
Nicola Malone, personal travel agent
Angela Latham, Manager at Hays Travel in Seaford
Gyll King, managing director of City & Village Tours
Steve Dunne, chief executive, Digital Drums
Not sure I’ve seen anything bring home the sheer horror and tragedy that is befalling an industry that was, before #COVID19, vibrant, more than this poor agent and her story. Heartbreaking
— Steve Dunne (@SteveDunne) September 29, 2020
Kate Harris thanked her industry peers for their support and said she was ‘totally overwhelmed’ by the reaction.
— Kate Harris (@inspired_kate) September 30, 2020
- For support on mental health and wellbeing, you can visit Travel Weekly’s coronavirus Resource Centre.