10 JANUARY 2022


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Article from BTNews 10 JANUARY 2022

Uproar in Scotland *

Not for first time the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) has blasted First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

“Scottish travel professionals are wholly at a loss to understand why we seem to be the Cinderella sector of business support,” said Joanne Dooey, outgoing President of the SPAA, having served her two years.  The organisation founded in 1921 is the world’s oldest organisation representing travel agents. Taking up the role is Mike Tibbert, general manager, Europe, at Global Marine Travel (GMT).

“The travel industry in Scotland seems, once again, to have been wholly ignored by the Scottish Government’s business support package.

“In today’s [last week in the Scottish Parliament] announcement, the First Minister announced millions of pounds of business support for everything from tourism to beauticians. Yet not a word about support for the travel sector.

“Travel agents have faced highly restricted trading – with many reporting trading at less than 10% of pre-pandemic rates in our members’ survey – with minimal support.

“Travel agencies have been forced to remain open to handle refunds, rebookings and repatriations. Most have had little revenue since March 2020. We urgently need sector specific support.

“Outbound travel is worth £1.5bn to the Scottish economy.

“What seems to be consistently overlooked is that without outbound travel there is no inbound tourism. What is the point of supporting Scottish tourism businesses with £3 million of business support if the travel industry, which brings them all here, has been decimated through lack of support.”


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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

John Richmond, United Kingdom

Could not agree more. The Scottish Government is doing very little to boost Air traffic to Scotland.

Jeff Campbell, Los Angeles

The problem with Nicola Sturgeon is that she personally puts people off travelling to Scotland. And the Scots are such a friendly people and the countryside is wonderful.