Ms McLaughlin was speaking ahead of a briefing on the Travel Agents Coronavirus Financial Assistance Scheme.
Executive Office Committee chair Ms McLaughlin said: “The support provided to our travel agents from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has been wholly inadequate.
“As a result these employers, many of them family owned and operating for decades have been pushed to the brink, with some considering closing their doors for good due to unmanageable financial pressures.
“Questions must also be asked why the burden of providing support to travel agents has fallen on The Executive Office when surely it’s support that should have been administered by the Department for the Economy.
“DfE has provided support to much of our business sector during the pandemic so it strikes me as unusual that this issue has fallen into the remit of The Executive Office.
“Regardless of who pays the money these employers need support and they need it now. While our travel market is reopening as the Covid situation allows, it could be some time before our travel agents return to anything resembling normality.
“Our Joint First Ministers need to step up and provide the funding that allows these employers to remain operating and to retain their staff while the global travel market gets back on its feet.”Tags: