The committee for the Northern Ireland Executive Office have invited members from the travel industry into talks to provide an update on the current financial position held by the industry; This meeting will focus on the recent grant provided to the travel industry and how this has effected businesses, along with the opportunity for travel groups to voice their concerns and suggestions to the government.
Damien Murphy of ANITA, who will be in attendance at the talks, has said:
“We have just received an official invite from the committee of the executive
office to invite us to present evidence about our experience with the Travel Agents Financial Assistance scheme- a provisional date of 10 November has been set for this. Myself, Sharon Thompson and an ABTA representative will attend what will be a virtual meeting. The idea is that we can update them on how we got on with the previous grant awarded (we will let them know that while it was extremely welcome at the time it was not nearly enough and the period it was intended to cover ran out last March).
“This will be a chance for us to demonstrate that while our industry is slowly recovering help is still urgently needed as a lot of what we are selling is for next summer and beyond of course meaning no income for us now. At least our persistence in asking for this meeting has paid off and now more than ever it is vital that we all get in touch with our local MLAs and ask them to voice their support. I have known for a while now that the executive were listening to us and were pretty well aware of how difficult things still are for us- but getting this meeting is only a start in trying to secure more funding for us all. We will of course keep everyone us to date with any developments”.
This is positive for the travel industry as ANITA have consistently called for the NI Executive to rethink their funding surrounding the industry and the hardships it has felt over the past year and a half due to the Covid-19 pandemic.