The President of the Institute, Carole Hiley, writes to the Evening Standard to highlight the plight of guides excluded from the Chancellor's support initiatives.
Friday 19th February 2021
The Tourist Industry has been hit as hard as any sector during the pandemic. Our particular sector, professional tourist guiding, has been all but destroyed . The devastation to the inbound tourist industry coupled with lockdown restrictions has meant that professional badged tourist guides have been unable to work for the last year. The future prospects are a little brighter but it appears unlikely that the international travel sector will open up in time to save the crucial Summer season.
A recent survey of professional tourist guides revealed that 44 % have not benefited from the government’s self employed income support scheme (SEISS). Yet, our industry, in pre-pandemic times, generated over £40 million a year, for the economy and many tens of millions more to the wider tourism and hospitality sectors. Professional tourist guides comprise a small slice of the millions of others of self employed who have been excluded from financial assistance as they do not fit the government’s arbitrary criteria in order to claim. This continues to be wholly unfair to those who through no fault of their own are unable to work and are barred from claiming government support. We call upon the Chancellor to think again and provide support for our sector that will continue to struggle even as we come out of lockdown.
President, Institute of Tourist Guiding