Advantage and Travel Gossip release stark results from poll
Advantage, the UK’s largest travel agent consortium, and Travel Gossip, the online agent community, have found that 61 per cent of travel agencies will run out of cash by the end of the year.
If blanket travel bans and a lack of testing continue, a further 27 per cent will run out of cash in the first half of next year – meaning 88 per cent of surveyed agencies would have gone out of business.
Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO at The Advantage Travel Partnership said: “When will the government wake up and see that an industry is collapsing in front of them? These results are deeply concerning, but sadly are indicative of many businesses throughout the travel industry. We need an exit strategy from our government to outline how we are going to move forwards. Hospitality and retail had to ensure they were Covid secure when they reopened in the summer, and travel needs its own equivalent – we must have a robust testing system in place and quarantine periods reduced to give us any chance of surviving this crisis. The Global Travel Taskforce is scheduled to present its findings to the Prime Minister in early November, and we are calling on them to progress their discussions as a matter of urgency. This absolutely cannot be delayed otherwise this will have a catastrophic impact on travel agents and the travel industry.”
Bruce Martin, founder at Travel Gossip added: “It is heart-breaking to hear about so many of our travel agent community on the precipice of closure and financial ruin and these results demonstrate the dire repercussions that this pandemic has had on agents. The second national lockdown and blanket travel ban will only make matters worse as they will have to provide support to travellers who had trips booked and deal with a second round of refunds, putting additional pressure on travel agents who have had little to no revenue since March through no fault of their own.”
The results from the survey were gathered via a Facebook poll on Travel Gossip’s Facebook page, received 401 responses within a 24 hour timeframe between 2 – 3 November 2020, following the announcement of a second national lockdown in England.