Updated: 23 July 2021
The industry needs the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations to work with us to take steps to put travel on a firmer footing for the future. The Save Future Travel Coalition brings together many of the leading bodies in travel and tourism, and is calling for a comprehensive risk-based restart of international travel and support for the travel industry throughout the recovery.
The campaign is asking the UK Government to:
You can write to your MP to ask that they support Save Future Travel by using the relevant template, below. Not sure who your MP is? – find out here.
Please also consider inviting the MP to visit your business, if you feel confident to do so, as it’s important that your MP hears your story. There is no better way to do that than face to face.
MP letters updated 2 July 2021:
Write to your MLA, MSP or MS
You can also use the following templates to ask your devolved representative to support the Save Future Travel campaign.
Not sure who your local representative (MSP, MLA or MS) is? Check your postcode on www.writetothem.com
If you have any questions, please get in touch with ABTA’s Public Affairs team.
To help Members share the campaign’s current asks, we have created social media graphics to use on your website and social media channels.
If you are a travel agent writing to your MP, we have made available an infographic which explains the booking cycle for a travel agent which should help to demonstrate the impact of COVID-19 on your business.
Save Future Travel began in response to the unprecedented global shutdown of travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to issue advice against all but essential travel. This resulted in travel businesses – travel agents and tour operators – struggling to deal with an avalanche of refund requests, often while significantly under resourced.
It soon became clear that the existing Package Travel Regulations were not able to deal with this unforeseen global shutdown, and without urgent additional help, perfectly viable and normally successful UK travel businesses, employing tens of thousands of people, were and continue to be at risk of going bankrupt.
We called on the Government to take immediate action to avoid mass insolvencies of UK travel companies, prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of UK jobs, and to ensure customers could receive refunds or book alternative travel arrangements as quickly as possible.
Among our lobbying activities, ABTA’s Chief Executive, Mark Tanzer, participated in an industry roundtable hosted by the Home Secretary and gave evidence at the House of Commons Transport Committee, addressing the issues facing the industry and highlighting the areas where the Government can support travel agents and tour operators. ABTA has held several meetings with Public Departments and written letters to our Prime Minister and Home Secretary, calling for urgent Government intervention.
ABTA has grown the Save Future Travel coalition to 15 leading travel bodies and campaign organisations which together represent the vast majority of outbound and inbound organised travel to the UK.
ABTA’s Public Affairs team works tirelessly with MPs from across the political spectrum to develop support for our sector, and ensure those in the corridors of power understand the challenges facing our industry.
Thanks to your support, as part of the first phase of Save Future Travel, over 25,500 emails were sent from travel businesses, staff and supporters to a total of 648 Members of Parliament, making sure our industry’s voice has been heard loud and clear in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our campaign has reached all national print and online publications, being featured hundreds of times, and on all the major broadcast stations, including the likes of BBC News, Sky News, BBC One, ITV, Channel 5 and Channel 4.
From the start of the crisis, we have appeared in the media calling for urgent Government intervention to Save Future Travel and a roadmap to recovery. ABTA is committed to continuing its lobbying efforts.
In addition to the UK-wide financial and business support schemes announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a number of grant funding schemes have been made available across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, in response to the restrictions placed on businesses by COVID-19 health regulations. As domestic restrictions continue to ease, the UK Government and devolved administrations are reassessing the financial support measures available. ABTA continues to work closely with the UK Government and each of the devolved administrations to make the case for travel businesses being included in any future funding decisions.
Additional guidance is also provided below.
A number of the current local authority administered schemes are discretionary, and the criteria will differ from council to council. If you have any questions about the guidance provided, or need further information about a scheme, please contact ABTA’s Public Affairs Team at email@example.com.
Discretionary funding will continue to be made available through the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). Government guidance for local authorities makes clear that tour operators and travel agents, including those who received the Restart Grant, should be considered eligible for the ARG.
As each Local Authority will have a different online application system, we have provided content which can be used in the application itself. It is not advised, at this time, to write to your local council, as this will slow your application.
The Welsh Government has announced an emergency package of support which will cover the operating costs for July and August 2021 of businesses required to remain closed and who remain severely impacted as a result of the continuation of the restrictions.
Eligible businesses, in the hospitality and tourism sectors, including travel agents will be entitled to an additional payment of between £1,000 and £25,000, depending on their size, structure and circumstance, to cover the period up to the end of August.
To qualify for support, businesses must show their turnover has reduced by more than 60% compared to the corresponding timeline in 2019 or equivalent. All eligible businesses will need to apply for the funding.
An eligibility checker will open on the Business Wales website on the 5th of July. The fund will open to applications from Tuesday 13 July 2021, and will remain open for a 2 week period, closing on Friday 23 July 2021.
Currently all relevant funding schemes are closed. ABTA continues its engagement with the Northern Irish Executive, to make the case for further grant support for travel businesses in Northern Ireland.