Written by: Keith Tully
The travel sector trade body Abta has called for government action to support companies within its industry and to save them from heading into administration.
Abta has said that around 39,000 jobs have already been lost within the UK’s travel industry and warned that many more will soon follow unless support is swiftly provided to the array of travel businesses currently experiencing very real financial trouble.
“Travel desperately needs the government in its next review to provide tailored support or tens of thousands more jobs will be lost,” said Mark Tanzer, Abta’s chief executive.
“We have already seen well-known and respected businesses that would normally be successful falling into administration, and more are sadly set to follow unless the government can save future travel.”
Measures required to contain the spread of coronavirus in recent months have had a huge impact on the travel sector and its recovery has been further hampered by restrictions on travel being reintroduced after having initially been loosened.
There are widespread concerns about just how much more disruption travel businesses can cope with in the near future.
In fact, Abta has said that 96 per cent of travel businesses would expect to be in a fight for survival in the event of a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus and a prolonged shutdown.
Meanwhile, companies are still struggling and, in most cases, planning redundancies as the government’s furlough scheme support tapers off towards the end of October.
“With the government’s stop start measures, the restart of travel has not gone as hoped for the industry, and sadly businesses continue to be adversely affected and jobs are being lost at an alarming rate,” explained Mr Tanzer, Abta’s chief executive.
Reflecting on his own organisation’s research, Mr Tanzer suggested that a lack of government support for travel companies in the context of a continuing coronavirus lockdown would be “ruinous” for those businesses and for many of their employees.
Despite the enormous difficulties being faced by the travel sector in 2020, around four in 10 company bosses are confident of returning to 2019 levels of activity by 2022, if the necessary government support can be put in place to help get them there.
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