The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) has called on Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon to meet with and address the trade during the Travel Day of Action on Wednesday (23 June).
The association wants Sturgeon to meet face-to-face with members of the Scottish travel industry outside Holyrood on Wednesday and explain why "travel has been given the red card, while football is permitted to boogie with mass fan zones" – referring to the mass gatherings in London during England and Scotland’s Euro 2020 clash on Friday night (18 June).
In a letter addressed to the first minister, SPAA president Joanne Dooey said: "You told us that Scotland needed strong leadership, and as an industry we are talking with one voice today and asking you to show that leadership to the travel sector. Come and meet our members and tell them why you have effectively banned travel."
Dooey described how agents have had "nothing to sell and no one to sell to" since March 2020 while having to remain open to service refunds and booking amendments.
Earlier this month, the Scottish government denied MSC Virtuosa the right to dock in Greenock – effectively banning all cruise calls in Scotland until the entire country reaches its lowest Covid-19 alert level.
Addressing Sturgeon, Dooey said: "How can we get the message through to you that you may allow us to physically open our doors, but there is absolutely no income for us?
"You have allowed us to open in name only – officially open but not actually capable of trading. Why did football get to keep their ball when you’ve taken travel’s ball home?"
Travel Day of Action events will be held in London, Edinburgh and Belfast on Wednesday, coinciding with a parliamentary debate on support for the travel sector.