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Lords debate future of high-street agents

ABTA briefs Lords on issues facing industry

The House of Lords set to hold a debate this afternoon on the future of high-street travel agents.

The discussion comes from a question by Baroness Clark of Kilwinning.

Luke Petherbridge, ABTA’s director of public affairs, said: “We have briefed members of the House of Lords ahead of this afternoon’s debate, sharing the findings from our latest Member survey which revealed that as many as 164,000 jobs are either at risk or have been lost already in the wider travel industry.

“The whole travel sector has been hit hard by the pandemic. The operating model of travel agents has added an extra hardship – they are basically running on empty – with the money they’ve earnt in commission being refunded when holidays are cancelled, and the drop in bookings meaning there is little opportunity to generate new revenue.

“It is really important that the government gets behind the industry by making furlough flexible, ensuring there is clarity around the grant support available, and working to get people travelling again by introducing a testing regime.”