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Save Future Travel campaign

Updated: 30 November 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. 

 

Additional Restrictions Grant funding – write to your council (England only)

UK Government guidance for local authorities makes clear that both tour operators and travel agents in England, including those who received the Restart Grant, should be considered eligible for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), subject to available funds. In light of the new restrictions imposed on international travel from 30 November, ABTA is urging Members in England to contact their local authority to apply for this discretionary business funding. We have provided a template letter, which can be used to support your application. You can also see how much unspent ARG funding your local authority had at the end of the summer here. Not sure which council area you are in? Check that here. Contact ABTA’s Public Affairs team at publicaffairs@abta.co.uk if you need further information.

     

    Submission to the Transport Select Committee

    The Save Future Travel Coalition made a joint submission to the Transport Select Committee’s inquiry into the sector’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The Committee is currently examining the effects of the Government’s policy on international travel, including the system for international travel and barriers to the reopening of international travel. You find the full details of the inquiry here, and read the Coalition’s submission here. ABTA also made a supplementary submission on behalf of Members, which outlines a number of policy proposals to support the recovery of travel in both the short and long term, a copy of which you can read here

    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.