Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.58 19 Jun 2020


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Transport Minister Shane Ross has 'urged' people whose travel was affected by the coronavirus pandemic to consider accepting a Refund Credit Note instead of cash.

The Government has approved the State-backed COVID-19 Refund Credit Note scheme.

The guarantee protects the cash value of a refund if a travel agent or tour operator becomes insolvent.

Where customers agree to accept a voucher as a refund instead of cash, the Government will stand over the cash value of that note if the issuer goes out of business.

People are entitled under the law to a cash refund in circumstances where a booking has been cancelled because of COVID-19.

However Mr Ross has asked people to consider accepting a Refund Credit Note over cash.

He said: "Where they can, I urge people to consider accepting a Refund Credit Note instead.

"The Refund Credit Note can be used to re-book at a later date, or it can be cashed in at a later date too, safe in the knowledge that it is Government protected."

"The entire travel and tourism industry across Europe has been devastated by the impact of COVID-19, including the many small and medium sized Irish businesses that make up the travel agent and tour operator sector.

"The Government is determined to save jobs and protect businesses as much as it can, as well as the rights of the hard-pressed consumer."

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has welcomed the move.

It said coronavirus disruption has put "huge financial pressure" on businesses within the industry.

ITAA CEO Pat Dawson said: "The travel industry is one of the most damaged parts of the economy, with business down over 98% since March and with no sign of a start-up date for travel.

"The outbound travel industry works closely with inbound tourism to make air routes viable and both sectors combined account for almost 250,000 jobs in Ireland.

"We are calling on the Department of Foreign Affairs for an update on travel advisories and consistency of messaging around DFA travel advice, as many flights continue to operate contrary to travel advice.

"These inconsistencies will have a detrimental effect on consumer confidence in the travel industry."

But he added: "The news that the Government is willing to stand over the Refund Credit Note has brought huge relief within the Irish travel sector, as it is a step in rebuilding our industry as soon as the threat of COVID-19 has passed.

"We are pleased with this significant development for our customers and our member travel agents."

Main image: A Wizzair Airbus A321-231 lands at the Krakow-Balice International Airport in Poland. Picture by: SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA Images

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COVID-19 Refund Credit Note Coronavirus Covid-19 Credit Note Irish Travel Agents Association Pat Dawson Shane Ross State-backed State-backed Scheme Tour Operator Travel Agent Travel Disruption

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