Chancellor Rishi Sunak needs to help travel businesses to “manage their cash flow” until holidays can resume when current Covid-19 restrictions start being lifted.
Sunak is due to deliver his long-awaited Budget on 3 March, with the travel industry continuing to push for him to include some kind of specific financial support for the sector.
Rajeev Shaunak, head of travel and tourism at accountancy firm MHA MacIntyre Hudson, said Sunak should address the industry’s “lack of liquidity”, which was the “biggest single danger” to travel firms at the moment.
“The travel industry needs to see a vote of confidence from the chancellor on 3 March,” added Shaunak, “Urgent measures are needed to save it from the enormous impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The lack of liquidity is the biggest single danger to the industry right now and helping travel businesses manage their cash flow needs to be a priority.”
Shaunak called for an expanded grant system that would help businesses survive until travel and holidays can resume “which is unlikely before the autumn in any real numbers”.
“Business rates relief is vitally important, as is the ability to defer tax at a time when the industry has little or no revenue, a situation which has existed now for 12 months,” he added.
“Existing support mechanisms should also be extended. The furlough scheme, for example, should be made available for at least another six months.