The Minister of State responsible for international travel, Hildegarde Naughton, has announced that a €10m business support fund will be made available for licensed outbound travel agents whose businesses have been affected by ongoing restrictions related to the pandemic.
The fund is intended to help travel agents throughout the country remain in business until viable trading can resume.
The news was welcomed by the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA), which has worked with government departments and politicians since summer 2020 to secure financial support for the travel industry.
ITAA president Paul Hackett said: “The past 22 months have been the most difficult of all times for the travel industry. Travel agents have facilitated clients with refunds and rebooking throughout this time despite trading at near zero levels.”
“We in the ITAA have worked hard on behalf of all licensed travel agents to highlight the issues faced by our industry and very much welcome this support fund for travel agents licensed in Ireland.
“It will go towards protecting the Irish based travel industry, facilitating a smooth and safe return to business in 2022. Our industry is resilient. We have overcome other catastrophes in the past and for the most part our members have survived the most challenging trading environment ever seen.
“I have no doubt that over the next 18 to 24 months we will recover to pre-pandemic trading levels.”