Agents have spoken of the extreme lengths they have gone, including moving home, to mitigate the financial devastation wrought by the lack of government support for travel during the pandemic.
Three agents spelled out how the crisis had affected their lives over the past year at a TTG roundtable, which included Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Christine Jardine MP.
Deben Travel managing director Lee Hunt said that while his business of 10 years was “very viable”, he had been forced to sink his personal savings into operations.
"I have nothing," he said. "I had to move out of my home at the end of February because I could no longer afford the rent. There has been a huge personal impact which I think the government overlooked when they just classed us as businesses.”
He told Jardine there was a “really important message” to get across to government. “Come 12 April when other non-essential retail opens and start selling their products, they will make money immediately," said Hunt. "We can’t make any money until people start departing the country.
“We could well sell £1 million worth of holidays, but we don’t actually see any of that money until people depart the UK. That’s how I pay my bills and my team of nine.”