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Welshpool firm joins national protest to open travel industry

 
Created on 24/06/2021 @ 09:18

 

A pair of directors with a travel firm that has had to close its Welshpool office for over 15 months joined yesterday’s protests in London to reopen the international travel industry.

Polka Dot Travel Directors, Mark Johnson and Philippa Wilcox (pictured with pilots at the protest), were in London attending the Travel Day of Action outside parliament after seeing their business decimated since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Mr Johnson said: “We couldn’t simply shut up shop and furlough all our staff, we had to look after our customers and their future bookings. Our customers still needed us, they needed our support to either help cancel and refund their bookings or help them re book to an alternative date, we needed man power for that!

“Twenty five out of our 90 staff worked tirelessly to help our customers. Whilst  this meant we weren’t making any money and travel had ground to a standstill, we were impacted as we had to then refund all cancelled bookings, we weren’t just not earning we were giving money back!

“Along with this we had to pay our staff so imagine a clothing store closing but having to keep staff employed to refund back everything sold within the last few months?”

 The Travel day of Action was to make the Government aware of the troubles that the UK travel industry is facing.

Ms Wilcox added: “If travel isn’t going to be restarting soon the Government need to look at tailored support for the industry.

“Its been heart-breaking over the last 15+ months to witness businesses suffering, staff loosing their jobs, tour operators collapsing. We are the only industry that can’t operate and that needs to be recognised fast!”

 Polka Dot Travel opened their doors in October 2013 with their first store opening on Bailey Street in Oswestry. Over the coming years they organically expanded to 19 stores across Shropshire, Cheshire, Mid & North Wales, Wirral, Staffordshire and Cheshire.

As an independent agent they are able to offer their customers a variety of choice with regards to tour operators, they shop around so you don’t have to.

Over 800 protesters gathered peacefully on College Green at Westminster, consisting of travel agents, pilots, company owners, and even some travel celebrities like television travel expert, Simon Calder.


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