ABTA Calls For Support For Travel Agents After Portugal Decision

Sevilla students in second Covid macro outbreak after Algarve trips

Sevilla students in second Covid macro outbreak after Algarve trips. Image: commons wikimedia

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has called on the government to support travel agents with additional funding following the decision to remove Portugal from the green list.

THAT decision, as well as the failure to add any destinations to the green list, means that many travel agents are looking at substantial financial losses, ABTA warned.

ABTA chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said, “It’s clear that the government’s domestic health strategy is continuing to prevent any meaningful resumption of international travel. You can’t build the recovery of a multi-billion-pound sector while mass market holiday destinations remain off the green list. The removal of Portugal comes on the back on what was already a very short and cautious green list.

“Travel agents and tour operators haven’t been able to generate income since the start of the pandemic and have been depending on the return of international travel to help bring in some much-needed relief.

“The government now needs to come forward with tailored financial support for the sector, which recognises that the travel industry’s recovery will be slower than that in other sectors of the economy, and takes account of the unique challenges businesses in the sector are facing. Travel companies are desperately worried that at a time when the market hasn’t opened up, they will shortly face increased furlough and business rates costs, with support being gradually withdrawn from the end of this month. It’s vital that the government doesn’t leave these businesses behind as it focuses on the domestic unlocking,” he said.

“We also need to see the government use the next review of the traffic-light system, on June 28, to deliver meaningful progress towards restart. Ministers must use that review to finally take the steps needed to capitalise on the great progress of the vaccine rollout in the UK. For example, many countries have chosen to exempt fully vaccinated individuals from certain travel requirements. The government should also treat islands separately in the traffic light system and take steps to further reduce the cost of testing,” he added.

The Euro Weekly News is running a campaign to help reunite Brits in Spain with their family and friends by capping the costs of PCR tests for travel. Please help us urge the government to cap costs at https://euroweeklynews.com/2021/04/16/ewn-champions-the-rights-of-brits-in-spain-to-see-loved-ones-again/

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.