About 150 people attended the Travel Day of Action event at Stormont in Belfast on Wednesday, “exceeding the expectations” of the organisers.
Agents were joined by other travel professionals to lobby at the Northern Ireland Assembly as part of the nationwide day of live and virtual campaign gatherings.
Damian Murphy, director and manager at Terra Travel agency chain in Northern Ireland, and spokesman for the Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents (Anita), said: “It went extremely well – it absolutely exceeded our expectations and we had a large number of MLAs (members of the legislative assembly).
“There was major TV, radio and press there.
“We had a good turnout, especially with pilots in uniform who looked good in pictures.”
Fantastic to see the travel agent community in Northern Ireland hand delivering 1000s of letters to Stormont today too! #northernireland@ANITA66109235#speakupfortravel#TravelDayOfActionpic.twitter.com/OnSOMNkD21
— Advantage Travel Partnership (@AdvantageHQ) June 23, 2021
There was an official presentation of letters to the MLAs and Murphy spoke on TV to highlight the industry message – coordinated by Abta and the Save Future Travel – about opening up safe travel and financial support for the sector.
“The tide is turning. It is just a matter of how long it will take,” he said.
“We definitely got our message across. I feel positive about the day, extremely positive. We have been really pleased with the day and how it was organised.
“The politicians are listening – there is more of a possibility of something happening now but there is more work to be done and people to contact.
“The public are more supportive now and not as nervous as they have been about travel.
“It has been horrendous over the past 15 months, there is no other word for it. I hope we can survive.”