Kuoni’s chief has appeared on BBC Breakfast raising awareness of the particular challenges facing the travel industry during the coronavirus pandemic.
Derek Jones, chief executive of Der Touristik UK, appeared on BBC One’s Breakfast show this morning (20 April) to talk about the government’s furlough initiative (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) and owning a travel business during the Covid-19 crisis.
"We invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in training our staff, sending them on educationals and making sure they are knowledgable about the places that we sell, and it would have been heartbreaking to have to lose those people," said Jones.
"Furloughing them has been a real Godsend; it has enabled us to keep our team together and make sure we are ready to come back stronger in the future."
He said the crisis may impact tourism companies past June this year and "when other businesses start to go back to normal".
This comes as Kuoni made 70 head office and retail staff redundant on 20 March, before taking a U-turn and furloughing those workers when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was announced on the same day.
Sadly, the travel lockdown may well last a lot longer than the domestic lockdown. The furlough scheme has been a real help but here’s me on @BBCBreakfast this morning raising awareness that the travel sector will need support for much longer... pic.twitter.com/Z0JFh8zTuz— Derek Jones (@Degsy_DJ) April 20, 2020