A large majority of travel firms say they expect to lay off more than 20% of their staff without a clear roadmap from the Prime Minister for re-opening the travel sector after 1st May, according to a new poll by the campaign group Save Our Summer.

This would equate to at least half a million jobs being made redundant in a sector that
employs more than 1 in 10 in the UK economy.

By mid-May, 15 million people in the UK will have received both jabs, with at least 15 million more being protected by their first jab. With over 30 million people protected by May, Save Our Summer supporters believe it’s reasonable to target re-opening travel that month.

Of those polled on 15th and 16th February, and with furlough set to finish in April, 60% said they expected to lay off more than 20% of their staff. 37% said they expect to lay off more than 40% of their staff.

76% of the 255 respondents called on the Chancellor to extend the successful furlough
scheme and also include companies with just one director employee, of which there are
many within the travel sector, who have been unable to claim furlough while also handling
postponement and new bookings.

More positively, if Boris Johnson outlines his plan for when travel can re-open over the
summer, 74% of firms said they would hire more employees or rehire those on furlough.
Like many other sectors, the travel sector has found employees being affected by the
various lockdowns. When firms were asked about the impact of the pandemic on the health
and wellbeing of their staff, 75% said their teams had suffered mental health issues due to
Covid-19 and the unpredictability of work.

Four days since starting, Save Our Summer now has over 500 firms, representing in excess
of £15billion in revenues.

Supporters who’ve registered include Flight Centre, DialAFlight, Love Holidays, Kirker Holidays, CV Villas, Oliver’s Travels, Travelopia, Carrier, Audley Travel, Cazenove & Loyd, AMAN, &Beyond, Mr & Mrs Smith, United Airlines, Finnair, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Mr & Mrs Smith, Jason Atherton’s Social Company, The Thinking Traveller, Travel Supermarket, Tripsmiths, Wexas, Wild Frontiers, i-escape, Simpson Travel, Your Golf Travel and Spabreaks.com.

“These stark findings reflect the severity of a lack of a roadmap for opening up travel. The Prime Minister has an opportunity next week to save a minimum of half a million jobs at risk unless a clear roadmap is given for the summer, and the furlough scheme extended. With vital revenues needed, firms are desperate for confidence to be restored otherwise the sector will be a shadow of its former self.”

(Paul Charles, Co-Founder of Save Our Summer and CEO of The PC Agency)

“The Prime Minister’s positive outlook for the travel sector on Monday is essential, so that consumers can book future business, family-related and leisure trips with clarity and confidence. This will in turn help businesses who, as the poll has found, are on their knees. The health of the British people is most important of all, but with declining cases and soaring vaccination numbers we believe that, from May, the Prime Minister can target a responsible reopening of the travel sector.”

(Henry Morley, Co-Founder of Save Our Summer and CEO of True Travel)

For more information on Save Our Summer click here.


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