'We've been messed about as an industry' - travel agents call for support on day of action

Off Broadway Travel

Off Broadway Travel have joined in a national day of action to ask the government for more support - Credit: Off Broadway Travel

A Welwyn-based travel agents said they feel unheard as the whole of the UK travel industry holds a day of action.

It is hoped the nationwide protest will put pressure on the government to reopen the sector and give more financial support to struggling businesses.

Off Broadway Travel invited down MP and transport secretary Grant Shapps, to visit their shop last May and see the reality of the role of the travel agents. Today they asked him again.

Off Broadway Travel

Off Broadway Travel has been based in Welwyn for more than 10 years - Credit: Off Broadway Travel

Natalie Bennett, partner at Off Broadway Travel, said: "We tweeted Grant to try and get him to come and see us, so we can sit down and chat with us and talk about the travel industry and how it's been affected over the last 15 to 18 months.

"The day of action is trying to get extra support for the travel industry going forward with all the restrictions the government has put in place with international travel."

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Though he is yet to visit the shop, Grant Shapps told the business he will call in on them on one of his future constituency days.

One of the main complaints behind the day of action is the traffic light system, on which almost all major tourist destinations are on the amber list, which requires a 10 day quarantine upon returning.

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Natalie added: "We've been messed about as an industry. Them putting Portugal on the [green] list and then taking them off again has just knocked everyone's confidence in travelling.

"The knock-on effect it had is on destinations that are still amber that people are hoping to go green. People are cancelling their holidays for those destinations because they don't want the risk of the same thing happening to them."

Portugal was put on the green list before being put back onto the amber list less than a month later - which meant some holiday-goers had to isolate for 10 days on their return.

"The whole industry wants international travel to open up safely, we want to be able to travel to countries that are safe to travel to," Natalie said.

"It's not a case that we want everywhere to open up right now, we just want it to be opened safely and have proper guidelines in place for how it is going to open.

"And once a place has gone green, the confidence that it's going to stay green."

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