The new €10m Support Scheme is now open for applications
The travel industry has been devastated since early 2020 by both the impact of the pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions on international travel.
But things are now looking up, as it has been announced by Minister of State responsible for International Travel, Hildegarde Naughton, that the application process for the €10m Support Scheme for Licensed Travel Agents has opened.
The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA), which represents Ireland’s travel industry, bringing together over 100 travel agent members and 70 affiliate partners, welcomes this announcement.
This fund will help travel agents throughout the country remain in business until viable trading properly resumes.
Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA, says, “The ITAA has worked tirelessly with Minister Hildegarde Naughton, Minister Michael McGrath, and with officials from the Department of Transport to secure this financial support to protect the travel industry. Many of our members are small family-run businesses located in towns and villages across the country. This support will, in turn, protect the Irish consumer.
“Consumers who book with a bonded, licensed Irish travel agent are guaranteed protection under the European Package Travel Directive. This protection is not present when booking ‘do-it-yourself’ holidays.”
Paul Hackett, President of the ITAA, says, “The past two years have been the most difficult of trading times for the travel industry. Despite trading at near zero levels, travel agents throughout the country facilitated clients with refunds and rebooking.”
He continues, “We in the ITAA have worked hard on behalf of all licensed travel agents to highlight the issues faced by our industry. We very much welcome this support fund for travel agents licensed in Ireland. It will go towards protecting the Irish based travel industry, facilitating a smooth and safe return to business.
“Our industry is resilient. We have overcome other catastrophes in the past and for the most part our members have survived the most challenging trading environment ever seen. I have no doubt that over the next 18 to 24 months we will recover to pre-pandemic trading levels.”
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