Comment: Cash even more key as furlough comes to an end

The publication date of this week’s edition of Travel Weekly has been stamped in the minds of the travel industry for many months.

September 30 marks the end of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and the withdrawal of support that has been essential to many firms’ survival over the past 18 months.

As we report this week, some in the industry will be better equipped than others to deal with the impact on their cost base, with long-haul and destination specialists and those focused on sectors such as business, inbound or educational travel under the most intense pressure.

But as hopes for extended sector support faded in recent months, it became apparent that many firms were already taking decisions – often in conjunction with their staff – to try to navigate this latest barrier to recovery.

For a sizeable portion of the industry, the recent announcements on the relaxation of travel curbs on both sides of the Atlantic will make a huge difference to their ability to trade their way out of the crisis, and it has been a relief to see a more aligned approach emerge across the home nations this week.

But for smaller agencies and suppliers in particular, it is imperative that cash begins to flow in the right direction without delay to ensure they can survive to the new year.

The pandemic has been punctuated by hopes being dashed for a succession of school holidays. All in the industry will be hoping this October half-term will prove an exception to that rule.


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