New agent campaign group TARGET attracts 300 members

Independents join forces to give agents ‘stronger voice’

New agent campaign group TARGET attracts 300 members

A new campaign group established to fight for all travel agents and engage more with government has attracted 300 members.

TARGET – Travel Agent Reform Group Engaged Together – has been set up by a group of agents frustrated at the lack of support from ministers.

Membership of the group is free and is open to all agents whether they are homeworkers, have a retail shop or a call centre.

A dedicated Facebook page has been created for agents to join the group.

Founder member Jill Waite, of Pole Travel in Failsworth, Manchester, said: “We have been the unheard sector through this pandemic, and need to join forces to get our voices heard.

“Other industries such as hospitality have been far more successful in engaging with the government.

“This is best demonstrated by the hospitality sector getting £8,000 restart grants while travel agents shops got £2,667 and home workers nothing.”

Fellow founder member Graeme Brett, of Westoe Travel in South Shields, said: “The aim is to have all travel agents with one voice regardless of which consortia or company they belong to and regardless of which other trade bodies they belong to.

“Travel agents in Scotland have had more success as they have the SPAA fighting for them as well.

“We felt that we needed a similar body for England/Wales. In the last year there have been too many mixed messages of what support travel agents need.

“We will listen to what our members/travel agents want and then campaign together.

Waite added: “We will also be seeking views on reforms that are needed to give travel agents a stronger voice in the travel industry.”

Last year she highlighted the plight for limited companies in the industry which were not eligible for financial aid and fighting to stay afloat in the  Covid crisis.

Waite furloughed her four staff under the government’s job retention scheme.

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