Trade campaign group Target is calling on agents to help the group raise as much evidence as possible of the shortcomings in government support for the travel industry.
Target wants the trade, from high street independents to the self-employed, business owners, company directors, homeworkers and call centre agents, to come forward with any instances of them having been excluded from government grants.
The group’s aim is to pass this information confidentially to Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer, who will appear before parliament’s Treasury select committee on Monday (7 June).
Tanzer will take part in a session exploring the financial support afforded to different sectors of the UK economy as a result of the Covid crisis.
Target co-founder, Pole Travel’s Jill Waite, said the session was a "huge opportunity" for the trade to highlight how travel had been adversely affected by the pandemic only to be afforded limit government support compared to other sectors.
"We are asking travel agents to share their personal experiences during lockdown with us," said Waite. "We will forward these to Mark Tanzer at Abta to give him the opportunity to use some of these experiences when he appears before the select committee."
Graeme Brett, director of Westoe Travel and co-founder of Target with Waite, added the group wanted to hear from as many agents as possible from across the broad spectrum of agent roles and businesses in travel.
"We would especially like to hear from everyone who has been excluded from grants and the reason for this," said Brett. "We will forward the samples to Mark Tanzer confidentially. No personal details of the author will be included."
Confirming Tanzer’s appearance before the committee last week, Abta said the session would serve as "an opportunity for Abta to reiterate calls for a tailored approach to financial support for the travel sector, which recognises the slower path to recovery facing travel companies and constraints that the industry will be under for many months to come".
Agents are asked to email their experiences, in confidence, to email@example.com this week.