More than a third of SPAA members have lost in excess of £1 million due to the pandemic, leading to calls for more government help.
The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association is warning the Scottish and UK Governments that without a tailored package of help for the sector, Scotland “risks losing its travel industry”.
The SPAA also criticised the “safe list Hokey Cokey” where countries are “in and out of the quarantine requirements at a few hours’ notice”.
The SPAA’s survey found 37% had lost more than £1 million and another 26% had experienced losses to date of between £101,000 and £500,000.
“Since lockdown, 80% of travel agents have experienced a drop in business of over 75%. This was compounded when Spain was removed from the safe list, with 100% of agents reporting no bookings or a significant drop in bookings at this time,” it said.
This picture had remained the same since then, the SPAA said.
“The removal of Spain from the ‘safe list’ and the recognition that the list of countries which have quarantine requirements on return is extremely fluid and can change at any time has led to more than half of agents having made no, or very few, new bookings.”
SPAA president Joanne Dooey said a tailored extension of the furlough scheme to March 2021, a more nuanced approach to quarantine, support through rates and rent deferrals or reductions and robust airport testing was needed to remedy the situation.
She said more than 26,000 jobs were at stake.
"We’re facing a tsunami of redundancies in the Scottish travel sector. More than 50% of travel agents in our survey have either made redundancies already or have notified employees that their positions are at risk,” she said.