ABTA calls for government grants to help TMCs

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 02 March 2021

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UK: ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer has called on the government to include travel management companies in its the £5 billion restart grant scheme announced over the weekend.

Tanzer said: “The restart grants will help our retail travel agent members but many more travel companies will miss out on this financial help – which would be a lifeline for many businesses at this stage, so it is important all travel businesses have access to some sort of grant support.”

The scheme will give high street shops and hospitality firms up to £18,000 each in grants.

An ABTA statement said: “Unlike other sectors, the travel industry isn’t able to amend its business model to generate revenue. Retailers have been able to move sales online and offer click and collect, restaurants have provided takeaways and cook-at-home meal kits, but there is no alternative when it comes to… business travel. Yet the Government hasn’t provided any tailored financial support to the industry, while other struggling sectors like hospitality have received specific help.

ABTA also said that as the return of international travel is likely to be gradual, the availability of the support should tape off rather than ending abruptly.

“Withdrawing financial help too soon could mean that whole swathes of the industry, which aren’t able to open until later this year or the start of 2022, lose the essential funding that is necessary to keep their businesses going,” it said.

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