Fife travel agent backs Holyrood protest for more support for crippled sector

A Fife travel agent is heading to Holyrood today to join a mass demo to urge the Scottish Government to support the crippled industry.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 9:12 am

Bruce Lamond, managing director of Travel Your World, will join around 200 colleagues at the parliament to press their case for immediate support.

The gathering, organised by the Save Future Travel coalition, forms part of a day of action which will see similar demos across the UK.

Mr Lamond, whose Links Street business employs six people, says the industry has been neglected throughout the pandemic - and businesses have made zero income since March 2020.

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Travel agents are calling for help as the holiday industry continues to be hit by pandemic restrictions.

He said there was a mix of anger and frustration among colleagues over travel bans, and the lack of support.

“When there is no travel and we are open, we have nothing to sell - the Scottish Government has to come up with a package of support.

“Financial support must be a priority while international travel remains grounded by the Government or face a tidal wave of redundancies and failures across the industry. “

The demos also want clear and practical restart plans for outbound travel.

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The Scottish Passengers’ Association estimates that almost 30,000 jobs are directly tied to the Scottish outbound travel industry.

Data from ABTA suggests that almost 200,000 jobs across the UK could be at risk if travel does not restart this summer.

Mr Lamond has been backed by Kirkcaldy MP Neale Hanvey who raised his company’s plight in a speech to the House of Commons as well as tabling an Early Day Motion calling for action.

Mr Lamond also highlighted the cost of getting COVID tests before and after travelling abroad – as much as £800 - and the lack of clarity on which countries were out of bounds.

“We have worked full time moving all our existing bookings to later 2021/2022. We have done this daily from March 2020 and will do so until we can start travelling,” he said.

“For this reason we cannot utilise furlough so have funded all wages myself with no income.

“No other retailer I can think of who is open is making £0.00 money but yet fully open.”

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