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COVID-19 Trade Update Page

Voices from the Supporters - the Irish Travel Trade

27th August 2020 - 3:00pm


We have been knocked before, we’ve been on our knees and steadied ourselves again and again. Arguably we have faced nothing of this magnitude before but we are a hardy bunch. We are passionate, dedicated and hard working. We are experts at what we do and to do it right, we must deliver the very best for our customers. At our lowest point, we continued to fight for them and we now fight for us, so we can continue to do what we love, what we know best, what we work so hard for and why our customers trust us and come back to us again and again and again.


A sample of the powerful and moving messages from across the trade and from friends, family and colleagues past and present:

Martine McDermott - “I feel it had to stop and someone had to give them help”.


Deirdre Murphy - “We work in a local family owned travel agency, and have worked day in day out throughout the pandemic, on behalf of our valued clients, rearranging their bookings and submitting for refunds and vouchers, all the time with no money coming in. We need your support. Please sign this petition”.


Polly Bond - “I work in the Irish travel industry and have seen the current laws stop our businesses from even being allowed to cover our costs in helping customers change or get refunded for their travel plans during Covid-19. Staff have given blood sweat and tears with little or no pay to get our clients through this. No other industry has got to give money back and at the same time have no new business coming in. Even the best run businesses can’t survive that”.


John Galligan - “Thousands of young Irish people are about to be laid off as a direct result of the failure of our government to provide appropriate supports to the retail travel (SME) business in Ireland. We are probably the only businesses that opened our doors exclusively to pay out money. And we haven't stopped doing so since”.

 “By slashing the wage supports on 1st September and offering no financial supports to the micro-businesses that make up the Irish travel business, they are risking shutting down the entire Irish business. We provide thousands of jobs throughout the country, in small towns and villages. We pay all sorts of payroll taxes, corporation taxes, rates, VAT etc. Unlike the banks, we are not deemed too big to fail (and look how that worked out for the country) and our politicians seem happy to let us disappear. But we will not do so. We don't need much support. We don't want loans. We have enough debt already. The wage supports from 1st September make it more attractive for staff to go on the dole. We must save those jobs - that are already being lost. Support our cause to get our politicians to wake up!”.


Maggie Rogers - “With support from government these jobs could survive”.


Tina Flynn - “We will lose the personal touch of our local travel agents. Plus the advice and tips they provide are priceless. It’s unfair for them all to lose their jobs due to something out of their control”.


Deirdre Ryan – “Because travel agents are a vital business who go above and beyond to help their clients particularly when there is a crisis, they are invaluable”.


Louise Lakes – “I know the trojan work that travel agents, tour operators and all involved in the Travel Industry have been doing since March, and prior to Covid-19 when we had strikes, tropical storms and our very own Ophelia”.

 “We desperately need to support our travel industry. With all of the help, support, advice and care that they have given to people up and down the country, we need the government to stand up and save them now”.


Paul Manning – “Myself and many of my friends either work in or rely on the travel industry in one way or the other. The industry cannot be allowed to slip away as the global knowledge and experience simply could never be replaced”.


Kathryn MacDonnell – “It's a fundamental function of modern Irish society. Jobs. And at 0% interest for borrowing the govt. can champion this support”.


Derek Pheasey – “As a travel agent, we have been refunding clients and assisting in repatriation clients as a result of Covid-19. This is the way it has been since March, but we still provide a service to our clients. The government needs to assist the travel trade NOW!”.


Carole Smith – “Travel will always return but if we are to have the same time, expertise and bonded protection supplied by travel agents, we must support those who work within the industry”.


Pauline Earley - “The travel agent industry has had no income but has continued to work and assist its customers”.


Dave Thomas – “The government needs to support the travel trade as they’re recovery is vital to Ireland’s ability to Recover from this pandemic and rebuild its economy with the help of the highly trained professionals in this so vital field travel and tourism please help support all the companies big and small”.


Barry McElligott – “Travel is an essential service. Not just a luxury. Travel bans need to be lifted in a sensible way and businesses need to be allowed trade. Save the travel trade”.


Tracey Maples – “It will cost the country more to have unemployed staff claiming social welfare than it will to support the industry for another 12months”.


Claire Rochford – “I worked in the travel industry for 17yrs before I moved on a few years back. I have many wonderful friends still there and what I am hearing is heart breaking, reduced hours/days, wage cuts, temporary layoffs and redundancies. I sign this for them, they need support, they are hardworking, decent people”.


Christine Fenton – “Although every sector has been impacted by this pandemic, the tourism industry in particular cannot just close their doors. We have been working tirelessly to ensure that our clients are looked after between rescheduling holidays, processing cancellations, negotiating with suppliers and processing refunds. Although sales are down by over 90%, our workload has increased. Companies need their staff to man this work load. Employers are heavily reliant on The Government wage subsidised scheme to cover wages. Yes, we are grateful for the support received to date but in our industry in particular, it is a mandatory requirement that this payment continues at the same rate to allow us to continue to look after our clients. This is only one factor of why we are pleading for this help”.


Jennifer McKenzie – “Because the travel industry actually provides valuable & vital local employment - it's not just about the other countries we visit!”.


Wendy Hamilton – “Our local travel agencies provide important services for our local communities and our local businesses. They are maintaining professional services under challenging conditions and without funding”.


Paula Smith – “Probably the hardest hit industry since the pandemic started. I personally know some people who are struggling and I give them my full support to get things put right for them and their families”.


Carolyn Davis – “We have worked tirelessly getting people home and rearranging trips for our valued clients. We need assistance to keep our valued team in place”.


Teresa Coughlan – “My daughter works in travel and we need travel agents not just for holidays but for visiting family, business etc. They have been one of the most hit businesses by Covid-19”.


Joanne Power – “The industry has been decimated by Covid-19. Staff have worked so hard to solve customer issues while making no money and having no security of future business. They need our help and support. Please sign”


Lynda Sweeney – “They have worked so hard since lockdown need help and support from the government if anyone needs help it is the travel agents”.


Nicola Churchill – “The travel industry is on its knees; no other industry has been hit as hard as we have. Every booking we have worked to secure for 2020 has been lost. We need the government’s support or we won't have jobs to go back to. #weareinthistogether”.


Sharon McNamara – “I am a travel agent for over 36 years and have never experienced anything like this”.


Michelle Crothers – “The travel Industry has been brought to its knees by Covid-19 restrictions. Travel agents all over Ireland are struggling to keep their doors open. The €203 the government is paying is not enough to keep staff and bosses are not earning anything to bump up wages. Please help save my job and the jobs of thousands like me”.


Tony Ghee – “The travel industry is a vital part of the economy and needs to be supported through this crisis by the government”.

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