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Nearly 200,000 travel jobs lost or at risk due to pandemic, trade body warns

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PA Media: UK News

Nearly 200,000 UK travel jobs have been lost or are at risk due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to new analysis.

Travel trade organisation Abta, which released the figure, called on the Government to provide tailored financial support for the sector and to safely restart international travel.

More than 526,000 people across the country were employed in the travel industry before the outbreak of the virus, the organisation said.

It warned that 57% of small and medium-sized travel agent firms claim they do not have the cash to survive more than three months based on current trading conditions and Government support.

The Government launched a traffic light system for international travel last month but there are no viable major tourist destinations on the green list.

Most popular summer hotspots such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece are on the amber list. Travellers returning from those countries must self-isolate at home for 10 days.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “Travel businesses feel completely abandoned by the Government, which has consistently failed to provide adequate support for an industry which has borne the brunt of the economic fallout from the pandemic.

“People have worked tirelessly through the pandemic trying to stay afloat, taking on extra jobs, having to make long-standing, valued staff redundant, worrying about mounting debts.

“While we can clearly see the financial toll with jobs and businesses lost, the emotional toll of this ongoing battle, which still has no discernible end in sight, cannot be underestimated.

“Unless the Government’s strategic review of international travel on June 28 brings forth a sensible plan for travel to reopen for the summer and targeted support that recognises the catastrophic economic hit that the sector has taken, the industry will truly begin to buckle before the summer is over.”

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