A gut-wrenching video showing the dire situation faced by Scottish travel agents and the wider UK industry has been released by the SPAA.
The association said it had created the film to “demonstrate the precarious position” faced by those in the sector as many agents “face an entire year of zero income”.
The video, which shows Scotland’s dependence on global connectivity for its inbound tourism – worth around £11bn to the country’s economy - has been sent to Scottish MPs and MSPs as part of the SPAA’s campaign for sector-specific support for travel agents.
SPAA president Joanne Dooey, owner of three-branch Love To Travel, said agency owners were faced “not only with losing their businesses which employ teams of travel professionals, but with losing their homes and defaulting on loans”.
Dooey said 37% of SPAA members surveyed in August reported they had experienced losses of more than £1m so far this year.
“This position will be far worse now and for far more agencies. We have nothing to sell and no one to sell it to. But, despite this, travel is a viable business sector,” she urged.
“Once we are able to travel again for business and pleasure, Scotland will need the professional advice and security of booking with a travel agent more than ever."
Releasing the video after Turkey was added to the UK’s quarantine list on Thursday (1 October), Dooey said the move “diminishes to a point of almost zero, the destinations which travels agents are able to sell at this time”.
“Simultaneously, it increases travel agent’s workloads as they have to deal with yet another round of cancellations and the associated loss of all related income.
"Action to support travel is critical. There are 26,000 jobs supported by the outbound travel sector in Scotland. It’s not just the connectivity to the rest of the globe which we will lose without tailored help, thousands of travel professionals will lose their jobs."