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9 in 10 travel agencies in UK face closure

In the midst of Britain’s second national lockdown, a new survey has shown the devastating extent to which travel agents have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a poll conducted by the UK’s largest travel agent consortium, Advantage, and online agent community Travel Gossip, it was revealed that more than three in five (61%) travel agencies could run out of cash by the end of 2020. 



According to the survey, at least another quarter (27%) will run out of cash in the first half of next year, meaning 88% of agencies could be closed by June 2021. 


The Advantage Travel Partnership CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said called the results “deeply concerning”, but sadly “indicative of many businesses throughout the travel industry”.


“We need an exit strategy from our government to outline how we are going to move forwards,” she remarked.


“Hospitality and retail had to ensure they were Covid secure when they reopened in the summer, and travel needs its own equivalent – we must have a robust testing system in place and quarantine periods reduced to give us any chance of surviving this crisis.”


Travel Gossip founder Bruce Martin said it was “heart-breaking to hear about so many of our travel agent community on the precipice of closure and financial ruin”.


“The second national lockdown and blanket travel ban will only make matters worse as they will have to provide support to travellers who had trips booked and deal with a second round of refunds, putting additional pressure on travel agents who have had little to no revenue since March through no fault of their own,” he added.


The survey results came from a poll on Travel Gossip’s Facebook page, which received over 400 responses within 24 hours between 2-3 November 2020.   


According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), some 2.4 million travel and tourism jobs across the UK could be affected by the pandemic if barriers to global travel remain in place.


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Written by: Mark Harada

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