Having faith in travel

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Ann Jones owns a travel agency in North Wales. Called Menai Travel or Teithiau Menai Cyf it only has a few employees and, I suppose, is fairly typical of hundreds and hundreds of small independent travel agents dotted around our countries.

Will the travel industry get this the pandemic without more support?

Like all travel agents she has suffered during the pandemic from having next to new business since March 2020.

Instead I suppose she spent a chunk of last year refunding customers for holidays that they were unable to take.

Like others she relied on the furlough scheme to help pay for staff. But furloughing is just about to end.

For companies that have been trading and continue to trade, I see no reason why furloughing shouldn’t end.

But for travel companies who live off the fat of the summer holiday period during the lean winter months of the last quarter of the year. After this summer, few have any summer fat on which to rely.

Support would assist them until the January bookings start coming in.

Like all businesses in hospitality and tourism, Menai Travel/Teithiau Menai Cyf also face an increase in VAT as the Treasury pulls back the discounts allowed last year. As it returns to 20%, we shall all see an increase in our bills at restaurants, cafes, pubs, hotels and all other forms of accommodation.

What the industry is hoping for is that people will continue to spend and not be put off by the higher bills.

Ann Jones has found a solution. She has cashed in her pension in order to help pay the salaries of her employees and to keep the business going. How many others will be so inclined? Or brave?

But she has shown why some in the travel industry has been so resilient. She has shown her faith in the industry by putting her own money where her mouth is.

Good luck to her.

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