//Scottish agents awarded £5 million package

Scottish agents awarded £5 million package

Hollyrood put together package as part of support package

The Scottish government has created a support package for travel agents worth £5 million.

The announcement was made as part of a multimillion support package for Scottish business, with an extra £6 million put aside for tour operators and coach companies.

Joanne Dooey, president of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association, which has been lobbying Holyrood since March, said: “This is hugely welcome news for travel agents who have been forced to remain open as businesses since March to help their clients with cancellations and refunds, but who have had nothing to sell and no one to sell to. We’re delighted that months of lobbying by our members, including our protest outside Holyrood in November, has been successful and that the Scottish government has listened to us, and recognised the dire position which many travel agents have found themselves in, and has acted upon our detailed proposals.

“We look forward to working closely with the Scottish Government on a delivery mechanism for this cash support to agents across Scotland.”

An ABTA spokesperson said: “We are pleased to hear that the Scottish Government has listened to our calls for financial support for the travel industry. Scottish travel businesses have been struggling since the start of the pandemic – the restrictions on travel meaning they are unable to generate income, so this news will come as a relief to many ABTA Members. It is also a really important move in supporting the Scottish economy, recognising that the outbound travel industry contributes £2bn every year to the economy of Scotland and the role travel will play in the country’s economic recovery. We encourage our Members in Scotland to apply for these grants.

“While this is great news to travel businesses in Scotland, we know that many of our Members across the UK are currently still struggling to access the much-needed funds to keep them afloat. We will continue to make the case for travel businesses across all the UK with the appropriate Administrations. It’s imperative that the Westminster Government, and other Devolved Administrations, set up similar schemes to recognise the unique circumstances that travel businesses have faced throughout the crisis.”

 

Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

Sam Ballard is a director and co-founder of Waterfront Publishing, creator of ABTA Magazine, Cruise Adviser, Solus and more.