Save Future Travel Coalition logo

Save Future Travel campaign

Updated: 24 September 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 Government’s recent announcement about changes to international travel policy, was significant, and warmly welcomed. We hope that this will finally allow the travel sector to begin its journey to restart and recovery. However, although the new international travel system is a step in the right direction, it will not in itself be enough to undo 18 months of damage to the overseas travel industry nor will it immediately repair consumer demand. 

We are, therefore, asking the UK Government to:

  • Provide a date for when the lateral flow policy will replace PCR Day 2 tests – given the aim is for the policy change to coincide with the half term, it is important that these details are announced as soon as possible to ensure advanced travel bookings.
  • Publish the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) criteria for decisions taken to place destinations the Red list – transparent criteria will allow both travel businesses and consumers to make better informed decision about holidays and increase consumer confidence. 
  • Remove the general use of FCDO travel advice against all but essential travel due to COVID risks now that the UK has successfully rolled out its vaccine programme. We would recommend that the default position should be that the FCDO does not issue advice against all but essential travel to destinations in relation to COVID. 
  • Work with the Devolved Administrations to encourage a four nations approach, to avoid discrepancies in international travel policy and to give consumers clarity. 
  • Urgently release additional rates relief and unspent discretionary grant funding, and extend furlough support until April 2022, recognising that the travel sector’s ability to trade and generate income is still much slower than first anticipated and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy.

Coalition Partners

Save Future Travel coalition partners
ABTA has grown the coalition to 15 leading travel bodies and campaign organisations which together represent the vast majority of outbound and inbound organised travel to the UK.

Write to your MP

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.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with ABTA’s Public Affairs team.

How has COVID-19 affected travel agents – infographic for Members

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.

Download the zipfile


The Campaign to date

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. 

MP email campaign – thank you

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.

Save Future Travel in the news

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.

Read more about our travel advice and response to COVID-19. Guidance for ABTA Members is also available in the Member Zone.