The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) have expressed their disappointment in relation to the Government’s six month Resilience and Recovery plan for living with COVID-19, stating that nothing has changed regarding the current situation for the Irish travel sector.
The ITAA believe that there has been a lack of clarity on both inbound and outbound tourism, and that direction is needed before the Irish travel industry can resume operations. There is a symbiotic relationship between inbound and outbound travel, therefore opening up air travel would impact massively on the Irish tourism industry.
The Association is disappointed to have to wait another month for further updates to the green list of countries deemed safe for travel, and believes that this will only prolong the suffering of its member travel agents, who are already working under huge financial pressure.
The ITAA have consistently voiced their concerns regarding the impact that the COVID-19 crisis is having on travel agents throughout the country, and are calling for assistance from Government in the form of measures such as wage subsidies and grants to help repair some of the damage to Irish travel businesses in the wake of the pandemic.
Pat Dawson, ITAA CEO, stated, “We were disappointed to hear that there will be no further updates on the travel industry until the 13th of October, a whole month away from now. We believe that the Government are simply postponing outcomes, and putting the Irish travel industry on the long finger, which will lead to another month filled with stress and uncertainty for our member travel agents. A lot can change in a month.”
He continued, “We are calling on the Government to provide support for our members such as grants and wage subsidies, so that we can continue to protect our customers, our employees and our businesses. These current travel restrictions provide no relief to either inbound or outbound travel, which will have a knock on effect on the Irish travel industry well into the future.”