Travel agent Jenny Jackson has put out a plea to the public to support the travel industry and reputable travel agents in their time of need.

Jackson, owner of Luxury Travel Gurus, said she feared messages from ‘consumer champions’ warning people not to travel could sound the death knell for the industry.

“After all this is over everyone will want to get away and unless we support our travel industry now we will have no airlines, overseas hotels or attractions left. Please help us save our travel industry,” she said.

She urged consumers to seek advice from experienced travel professionals and book holidays for the future in a bid to prevent the industry from collapse as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: “There has never been a more important time to support our industry by using an experienced travel agent and booking travel for later in the year or next year.”

Jackson, an agent for 23 years, said it was vital to get the message out to consumers that operators were increasing the amount of booking flexibility and value for money deals to incentivise forward bookings and allow holidaymakers to delay their plans.

“We have operators which are giving booking flexibility guarantees; we are changing bookings to 2021. We need to keep our industry afloat; it’s not just us, it’s the hotels and the hotel cleaners,” she added.

Agents with experience and strong, long-term relationships with suppliers were best-placed to help consumers, while it was critical to avoid refunds in favour of rebooking, she said. “We are working miracles but it is a case of your relationship with operators.”