Surveying members, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), new research has revealed that 39,000 jobs have already been lost or placed at risk across the outbound travel sector since the pandemic, and this number amounts to over 90,000 people in total once supply chains are considered.

ABTA has stated that jobs in the travel industry have reached a critical point, with measures to control the pandemic affecting the market.

ABTA finds that the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been a significant help for businesses in the travel industry, with nine in ten businesses taking part in the scheme to support staff. However, 65% of businesses have either had to make redundancies or have started a consultation process. Despite this, there is optimism that the travel industry can recover, if offered the right support by Government, with four in ten businesses confident travel can return to 2019 levels by 2022.

In response to potential job losses, ABTA has written to the chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, to ask for tailored support in the form of a package of measures to support businesses. The organization has put forward a plan in which, the government should adopt a regionalized approach to quarantine rules.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, explained: “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. Coming towards the end of the traditional period for peak booking, we have hit a critical point as existing government measures to support businesses begin to taper off, the consequence of which, according to this survey of ABTA members will be ruinous for more people’s livelihoods. Travel desperately needs the government in its next review to provide tailored support or tens of thousands more jobs will be lost. 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.”

More information on ABTA to Save Future Travel Plan

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