“It’s too late for us, but the government needs to help – otherwise there won’t be a travel industry left.”
That was the message of Village Travel director Jennie Watson after revealing her agency had recently ceased trading due to the impact of the Covid pandemic.
Watson, who took over the Cheam-based TTG Top 50-shortlisted shop alongside co-owner Tara Munson in 2013, said she was “devastated”, having broken the news to clients late last month and closed the agency to customers.
She said the Village Travel team had “known what was coming” since June after battling severe cash flow problems due to cancellations and refunds, but had “done all we could” to try to save the business.
“I loved the shop, our team and our clients… it’s been a very difficult time and something I’m only just getting my head around,” Watson told TTG.
“You keep asking yourself – could we have done more? But nobody knew this pandemic was going to happen and once we started to have the kind of cash flow issues that we did, there’s not a lot you can do.”
The shop was due to mark its 40th year as a travel agency in 2020, having previously traded under Travel World and Ambassador Travel, which Watson and Munson worked for before taking the business on seven years ago.
The agency was shortlisted for the inaugural TTG Top 50 awards in 2016 and scored another nomination this year.