Agency highlights lack of sector support with high street protest

A travel agency in north London protested about the lack of financial support for the travel industry over the weekend with the help of fellow local businesses in the area.

Authentic Villa Holidays, in Wood Green, says it faces the closure of its shop in the new year if no specific support for the sector is given by the government.

Owner Tara Hawkins updated her shop window to say: “Due to nearly two years of Covid-19 government restrictions on international travel along with lack of government support for the travel industry, this shop will be closing in the new year.”

The government has offered support to high street businesses affected by Covid through the Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) scheme.

Abta has pointed out how the government has recommended that local councils, which distribute the grants to businesses in their area, should consider travel businesses because they have faced extra restrictions.

The association last week urged travel companies to “reengage” with local authorities in England over ARG grants due to the further restrictions imposed on international travel as a result of the Omicron variant and produced a template letter for firms to use when making their case.

The window at Authentic Villa Holidays also offers customers a “sensible solution” to international travel and a link to the agency’s Freedom to Travel campaign, open to both industry professionals and the public.

The villa specialist’s website says: “We have experienced nearly two years of non-stop international travel interruption, knee-jerk reaction, rip-off testing, a traffic light system that can place a country on a red list in a matter of hours leaving thousands of innocent travellers stuck in resort facing hefty bills to return home before a deadline, unfair quarantine and quarantine costs…the list never ends….when will it end….?

“The fact is it will not end till we the people step in to end it.”

Picture: Tara Hawkins / Twitter

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