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:
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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.
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.