Abta is in talks with the government over the coronavirus furloughing scheme, acknowledging there may be a need for “continued salary support for travel” to avoid job losses.
Speaking during TTG’s latest Keep Your Business Alive seminar, Luke Petherbridge, Abta’s public affairs chief, said the association was “putting a lot of thought into recovery”.
“We’re already having conversations with the government around the furloughing scheme. Both the lack of suitability for right now, because it doesn’t allow you to help customers… going forward there may be some need for certain sectors to have some kind of continued salary support, if the government does want to avoid job losses in the long run.”
Petherbridge’s comments followed an Agent Matters panel, in which agents called for help “beyond just furlough”.
Joanne Dooey, owner of Love To Travel and president of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association, highlighted Ireland’s solution – whereby staff are paid 70% of their salary to work.
Simon Morgan, chief executive of Tailor Made Travel, meanwhile, pointed out that England-based DMOs have been permitted up to £2,500 per month for two members of non-furloughed staff.
“My staff who are furloughed want to help,” added Dooey. “We need to get these guys doing some sort of work from home, with help from the government.”