The Business Travel Association has called on the government to extend its business rates “holiday” to the entire travel sector.
According to the BTA, many TMCs are missing out on what was one of the key measures to support businesses announced in the Budget earlier this month.
Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, including leisure travel agents, have been given a year’s relief from business rates.
The BTA though believes the lack of support for business travel agents and TMCs could be down to their actual physical location, with many not having the same high street retail outlets most leisure agents do.
It says the government must take a “fair and equitable” approach to the rates holiday.
“It is frustrating that one branch of the travel sector is granted business rates relief based on a high street presence, while another is not,” said BTA chief executive Clive Wratten.
“The global response to Covid-19 has shut down the travel sector worldwide, and TMCs face many of the same pressures as travel agents and tour operators.”
The BTA polled its members and found, on average, a one-year business rate holiday would allow TMCs to preserve enough cash to extend their liquidity for a further two months.
Wratten has written to financial secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman MP, requesting the business rate holiday is given to both TMCs and leisure travel agents.
“Once this crisis ends, the business travel industry will play a vital role in the UK’s economic recovery,” Wratten added.
“Business travellers are the people who forge the deals and build the relationships which make global trade possible, and the UK business travel industry is responsible for over 30 million transactions generating £10 billion revenue every year.”