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Breaking News: Northern Ireland Executive Agrees Covid Support Scheme for Agents

Breaking News: Northern Ireland Executive Agrees Covid Support Scheme for Agents

The Northern Ireland Executive (NIE) has signed off on a Covid support scheme for travel agents. The scheme includes a flat payment of £10,000 to travel agencies operating from commercial premises, or a £3,500 payment to self-employed travel agents working from home. The scheme will be launched next Friday, March 19, and will remain open for applications until March 26. Links to the detail of the scheme and how to apply will be made available by the Executive next week.

The announcement was welcomed by ABTA – The Travel Association.

“Working closely with our Save Future Travel Coalition partners – especially the Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents – we have been lobbying hard for Northern Ireland’s travel sector to receive specific financial support in light of the massive impact that the pandemic has had on their businesses, with international travel having been severely limited or banned for the past 12 months,” says Luke Petherbridge, Director of Public Affairs, ABTA.  “This is positive news for travel agents – retail or homeworkers – who will now be able to access this additional funding ahead of the travel sector reopening.”

The NIE scheme follows on from the announcement of the Scottish Government, which introduced a travel agents scheme in January.

(Pictured, Sandra Corkin of Oasis Travel in pre-Covid times, road testing a Ferrari!)

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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