Bonnybridge travel agent's SOS to Scottish Government
The owner of Bonnybridge’s Bonny Travel Ltd has issued an urgent call to the Scottish Government to prioritise financial support for the outbound travel industry.
Later today thousands of travel industry professionals will gather for organised lobby events across in locations across the UK, including the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh.
Organised by the Save Future Travel coalition, the gatherings aim to hammer home the need for the UK Government and devolved nations to bring forward a package of tailored financial support for the industry, as well as outlining clear and practical restart plans for outbound travel.
The Scottish Passengers’ Association, who are co-ordinating the Edinburgh event, estimate almost 30,000 Scottish jobs are at risk if travel does not restart this summer.
Bonny Travel managing director Sharon Anderson believes the travel industry has been neglected by the government during the pandemic.
She added: “Tailored financial support for our business would allow me to continue to trade from the High Street in my own local village. I have been on Bonnybridge High Street for almost eight years, where the business was growing from strength to strength, year on year.
"Sadly the impact of not receiving specific industry financial support has forced me to make the difficult decision to relocate from the High Street. Business brings business.
"I fear if drastic measures are not taken by the UK and Scottish governments to financially support travel agents while outbound travel continues to be banned, not only will my business not survive, but many others will not survive either.
“I have worked tirelessly behind closed shutters and from home office throughout both lock-downs. I still continue to work with no income – the previous government grants have barely paid monthly management fees, loaded utility, equipment leases and licence costs, furlough annual leave top up, consumer credit and debit card charges.
"And now with no rent reductions or relief, I can’t go on trading from the High Street with staff and these costs, relocating is my only choice.”
People can go online and join the travel industry’s Twitterstorm at 2pm by using the #traveldayofaction hashtag.