Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.06 27 Aug 2020


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The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) says over 3,000 people are at risk of long-term unemployment in the travel industry, unless the Government intervenes.

It is calling for assistance to help repair some of the damage to the Irish travel industry.

It says this could be in the form of measures such as wage subsidies and grants to support travel businesses that are struggling.

It says the sector has been "drastically impacted" by COVID-19 - since March, the industry is down by 98%.

The travel industry is largely comprised of family-run businesses and employs roughly 3,500 people here.

The ITAA says the majority of these are at risk of long-term unemployment "unless immediate action is taken."

It says although the Irish travel industry has remained active since March, this is "no longer sustainable" without additional support from Government.

"Travel agents have had to remain open to service customers with cancellations, refunds and re-booking holidays.

"These companies could not close down even though they were effectively blocked from trading and they have had to continue to carry a proportion of salary and all overhead costs.

"If additional supports are not made available, there will be widespread collapse in the industry, with many companies closing resulting in job losses and subsequent impacts on consumers", the group claims.

The ITAA have had ongoing meetings with the Department of Transport since the beginning of the crisis in March.

In July, the group put forward a business support submission outlining the current situation in the Irish travel sector.

ITAA CEO Pat Dawson says: "Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the travel industry has been forced into lockdown for an indefinite period of time.

"We want to work with Government to save lives and keep our families, our staff, our clients and our communities safe, but we also need to preserve our businesses so that we can resume operations when it is safe to do so.

"Our industry is in an exceptional position; we are facing long a term recovery and we urgently require the support and assistance of Government.

"If our staff are laid off, it will be extremely difficult to restart our businesses when the pandemic has subsided."

Main image by Jürgen Rübig from Pixabay 

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Covid-19 Government Assistance ITAA Irish Travel Agents Irish Travel Agents Association Irish Travel Industry Pat Dawson Travel Agents Unemployment

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