In an unfortunate development, industry body Abta warned that the UK travel agents are losing their homes and facing “absolute hardship and desperation” while strict limits on international travel remain. Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Abta, said that he “feared a generation of travel agents would be lost as a result of the crisis.” A report in Financial Times stated: The May to September period is crucial to the UK travel industry, with companies generating about two thirds of their annual revenues over the summer season. UK residents made 23.8m visits abroad in 2020, 74 per cent fewer than in 2019, according to the Office for National Statistics. Travel companies have warned this year could be worse. “The UK is falling behind other countries, including many of our competitors in Europe, when it comes to restarting our aviation and travel sectors. With the success of the vaccine rollout, it is vital the government take steps to capitalise on the progress that has been made, otherwise we face doing severe long-term damage to the economy,” said Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, in a statement. Abta has also stated that about 88,000 jobs in the outbound travel sector have been lost. “The trade body has started legal action against the government over the lack of financial support it has provided to travel agents during the crisis. Travel industry executives have accused the government of sacrificing the sector in favour of domestically focused industries as ministers come to a decision on whether to go ahead with a final easing of social distancing and other restrictions on June 21,” FT reported.