Aito has again called for the government to provide sector-specific support after the shock decision to take Portugal off the green list.
Chris Rowles, the association’s chairman, said the move to put Portugal on the amber list from next week “did not make sense” and would damage consumer confidence in booking overseas travel.
“It will bring the tiny number of bookings that have been coming in daily to a juddering halt,” added Rowles. “It will also create even more confusion and a demand for refunds, which customers will not be entitled to should they decline to travel.
“If no travel businesses are going to be allowed to trade this summer, after 15 months of zero income and considerable cash outflow, there is now one key thing the government needs to deliver to operators, agents and others: the long-overdue sector-specific support that government has squirmed out of delivering to date.”
The government has so far resisted calls for sector-specific financial support for the wider travel industry, although some money has been provided to support aviation.