A Busy Week of Talks for ANITA

This week saw a further round of meetings for the ANITA team as they work towards help for the sector

This week saw a further round of meetings for the ANITA team as they work towards help for the sector.  We caught up with Damian Murphy from Terra Travel for an update on how the current talks have been progressing:

“ On Wednesday of this week myself and Sandra Corkin from Oasis travel met with Luke Petherbridge from ABTA for a catch up on all things travel.  We talked about things that were currently affecting the industry (lack of insurance providers- difficulty booking southern operators) but mostly about an upcoming meeting with the Economy department.

The meeting was informal but well worthwhile and hopefully Luke will come back with some updates that we can share with the trade.

On Thursday afternoon I accompanied Sharon Thompson (Thompson Travel) to a meeting with Jeremy Gardner – who is a top decision maker within the Economy Department to see where the industry now lies with them  The meeting was set up by Sharon and she led it from the start.  We were disappointed by how little his department seems to know about our sector after almost 3 years of constant contact between us and various MLAs and indeed Ministers. He knew nothing of the proposed grant that fell at the last minute in February nor indeed of the important role played by us within the greater economy.

Sharon spent a lot of time making sure he was brought up to speed and he did give certain undertakings at the conclusion.  He said he would at least find out why the second grant had failed (he did point out that any hope of covid grants was now gone) .  He did however leave us with some hope of possible funding for IT and staff development.

I suppose maybe the main thing to come from the meeting was his undertaking to try and establish which department within the Executive should be responsible for outgoing travel instead of leaving us to be passed from pillar to post”.