The Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents (ANITA) has said that 100 high street travel agent shops in Northern Ireland are facing "extinction" due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Irish Independent quotes ANITA as saying, "To date we have had no voice - no-one to represent us at Stormont - and our 100 high street shops now face extinction."
Commissions already earned on forward bookings were repaid and staff still had to be paid while earnings declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and ANITA said that rent and mortgage payments and electricity and telephone bills all stayed the same while earnings declined.
Support Package Request
Requesting a support package, ANITA said, "We need a six-month extension to the rates relief for our high street premises.
"We also need a cash grant to help with ongoing bills and simply to keep us in a position to keep trading.
"Our businesses have effectively been forced to close, but we have enjoyed none of the support that the hospitality sector along with taxi and coach companies have been promised.
"We have approximately 50 home workers in Northern Ireland who need a financial package tailored to their needs as well."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.