A SILSDEN travel agent took part in a day of action highlighting the threat to livelihoods within the industry.

Destination Travel, based in Kirkgate, joined colleagues from across the country to call for more support from the Government. There was a lobby of Westminster.

Shevaun Joy, a director of Destination Travel, said the pandemic had been “catastrophic” for the industry. And she warned that without a “meaningful” summer season, livelihoods would be at risk.

“Travel businesses have suffered more than most companies in this crisis,” she said.

“International travel has been severely restricted for almost 18 months now and, whilst other businesses have been opening their doors in recent weeks, the Government has been telling people not to travel.

“The summer season is such a critical time for our business so we desperately need Government to safely open-up more overseas travel.

“It also needs to give some tailored support to the travel sector.

“We haven’t had anywhere near the financial support that other businesses have received. The situation is beyond desperate.”

She added that despite international travel being significantly curtailed, companies faced increased furlough costs and a rise in payments towards business rates.

Destination Travel has been trading for over 12 years and sells holidays, including cruises, across the world. It has six staff.

The day of action was backed by the UK’s major airlines, as well as tour operators and travel agents.

Together they want the so-called travel green list to be expanded in line with evidence and for restrictions to be “more proportionate”, whilst keeping a strong red list to guard against Covid variants.

They are also seeking a package of tailored financial support, including an extension of furlough until April next year.

The Government said its international travel policy was guided by “one overwhelming priority – protecting public health”.

“We keep all measures under review and continue to engage with industry and international partners to explore how we can open international travel safely,” said a spokesperson. “Both tailored and wider support is available, including the furlough scheme.”