Travel businesses have had “no meaningful chance to recover” from the havoc the coronavirus crisis has caused, an industry body has warned.
After the vast majority of summer holidays were cancelled, Abta claims that government travel policies have “stood in the way of a recovery” and issued a fresh plea to ministers to provide “tailored support”.
Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “The travel industry has had no meaningful chance to recover. Bookings have largely vanished.
“Cancellations are common as destinations move on and off the travel corridor list, and the Government is yet to deliver a testing framework for industry and customers.
“The results are stark for businesses – job losses mounting at an alarming rate, and viable, longstanding businesses closing their doors for good.
“It is short-sighted of the Government to overlook the industry, as travel is fundamental to the UK’s economic recovery.
“We need the Government to step in and support the industry now – as it has done for other sectors – so
that the industry is ready to support the UK’s wider economic recovery.”
A Government spokeswoman said: “We recognise the challenging times facing the travel sector as a result of Covid-19, which is why we will do everything we can to help this critical industry.
“Protecting jobs is an absolute priority and the extension of the furlough scheme, as well as wider support through action on airport slots, loans and tax deferrals, will help businesses safeguard jobs as we head into winter.
“The Global Travel Taskforce will also continue to work at pace with industry to develop measures to support the industry’s long-term future.”