Nearly 200,000 travel jobs have already been lost or are “at risk” because of the Covid crisis, while more than half of smaller independent agents fear their businesses will not survive beyond the next three months.
Analysis from Abta found 195,000 people had either lost their job or were in danger of losing their position due to the ongoing pandemic. The industry employed around 526,000 people in the UK pre-Covid.
While 57% of small and medium-sized travel agents said they would not have the cash to survive for more than three months based on their current trading and level of government support.
Abta is using the data to renew its call for the government to provide a “package of tailored financial support to see the industry through to recovery”.
The association said this should include extending existing furlough and self-employed income support schemes, continuing with full business rates relief and the introduction of new sector-specific recovery grants for agents, operators and travel management companies (TMCs).
Mark Tanzer, Abta’s chief executive said: “Travel businesses feel completely abandoned by the government, which has consistently failed to provide adequate support for an industry which has borne the brunt of the economic fallout from the pandemic.
“People have worked tirelessly through the pandemic trying to stay afloat, taking on extra jobs, having to make long-standing, valued staff redundant and worrying about mounting debts.
“Unless the government’s strategic review of international travel on 28 June brings forth a sensible plan for travel to reopen for the summer and targeted support that recognises the catastrophic economic hit that the sector has taken, the industry will truly begin to buckle before the summer is over.”