Save Future Travel Coalition logo

Save Future Travel campaign

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 the risk-based restart of international travel and support for the travel industry throughout the recovery. 

The campaign is asking the UK Government to:

  • Retain existing furlough and self-employed income support for businesses operating in international travel, without tapering, for a minimum of six-months from 17 May, with future reviews.
     
  • Extend full business rates relief for travel companies (agents and operators) operating from rateable premises for a minimum of six-months from 17 May, with future reviews.
     
  • Create a new sector-specific ‘recovery grants’ regime for travel agents, tour operators and travel management companies that are reliant on international travel for their revenues. 

In light of the publication of the UK Government’s Global Travel Taskforce’s report, the Save Future Travel Coalition is also calling for: 

  • Publication of the criteria that will be used for the new ‘traffic light’ system, which will be implemented once travel re-opens, and which must be clear and transparent.
  • Urgent clarity on the approach to use of Foreign Office travel advice and how it will work with the new country traffic light system.
  • Reassurance that testing requirements for travellers will be both appropriate and affordable, with the eventual aim of moving towards restriction free travel where possible. 
  • A coherent and coordinated four-nations approach to restarting travel across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  

Ask your MP to stand up for travel on 24 June!

MPs will be debating ‘Support for the Aviation, Travel and Tourism Industries’ on Thursday 24 June.

Write to your MP to ask them to take part in the debate and support the Save Future Travel campaign. 

After more than a year of lost revenue, the industry urgently needs a fully comprehensive risk-based restart of international travel, and targeted support to see the industry through to recovery. Including:

  • Clarity around how decisions are taken on the traffic light country lists, and the approach to use of Foreign Office travel advice.
  • Affordable and proportionate testing requirements – especially for green countries that pose a low risk.
  • Investment in Border Force and digitisation – to avoid delays entering the country acting as a deterrent to recovery.
  • Extension of full furlough and self-employed income support for a minimum of six-months – to be kept under review.
  • Extension of full business rates relief, without tapering, for a minimum of six-months – to apply to businesses reliant on international travel, and to be kept under review.
  • A new sector-specific ‘recovery grants’ regime for travel agents, tour operators and travel management companies that are reliant on international travel for their revenues. 

ABTA Members will be able to access a full briefing document which can be sent to MPs here.

 You can also use the MP template letters provided below to support your engagement with your MP, and the ABTA lifecycle infographic which helps to explain the financial impact of COVID-19 on travel agent businesses.

Download template letters

Backbench Business Debate - Travel agent
Backbench Business Debate - Tour operator


 

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.

How to write to your MP or devolved representative - template letters

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 20 May 2021:

MP Template Travel Agent

MP Template Tour Operator


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. 

MLA template

MSP template

MS template

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.

Share the #SaveFutureTravel message on social media

To help Members share the campaign’s current asks, we have created social media graphics to use on your website and social media channels. 

Download zip file

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Business Grants

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 also 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 have begun 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 these 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 publicaffairs@abta.co.uk.

England

From April, retail travel agents in England will be eligible for a one-off ‘Restart Grant’, provided to non-essential retail businesses. Discretionary funding will also continue to be made available through a further round of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). Government guidance for local authorities makes clear that tour operators should be considered eligible for the ARG.

Download template content to support your ARG grant application

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.
 

Scotland

On 19 April 2021, as restrictions began to ease, all Strategic Framework Business Fund recipients (which included retail businesses) automatically received a one-off Restart Grant. In addition, the local authority discretionary fund, which operates alongside the closed business fund, remains open.

Wales

The Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) has provided a range of support for eligible retail, tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses across Wales. The Restrictions Business Fund,  is now closed, however, the Welsh Government has confirmed that further grant support is under consideration.  

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the COVID Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS) and the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS), are available until 23 May, to those businesses that have been directly impacted by public health regulations and have either been forced to close, or have had operations at their premises severely limited.

Additional one-off grant funding has recently been announced to support businesses as restrictions begin to ease in Northern Ireland. This includes a £50,000 grant for large businesses, a £10,000 grant for medium sized businesses, and a £5,000 grant for small businesses. It is ABTA’s understanding that, subject to other criteria being met, tour operators will be eligible for all three grants, while travel agents may be eligible for both the larger and the smaller grant. You can read more about this funding here.