24 Jan

ABTA Budget submission sets out policy priorities for travel and tourism ahead of General Election

ABTA has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP, outlining the policy priorities for travel and tourism as the Treasury puts together its forthcoming Budget.

Although not held until the first week of March, formal submissions to the Treasury about the Budget must be received by today (24 January 2024).

ABTA’s submission emphasises the importance of outbound travel and tourism to the UK economy, and the popularity of overseas holidays with the public. Among its requests, ABTA states in its letter that:

  1. A review is needed of how the UK’s regulatory, taxation, and business support frameworks can be aligned, so as to help the industry’s transition to net zero and ensure the UK is best placed to maximise associated job creation and economic opportunities.
  2. Policy must be co-ordinated to support the establishment of a domestic Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) industry, with measures such as a price certainty mechanism being expedited to support the government’s commitment to construct five SAF plants by 2025.
  3. Business rates support for retail businesses continues to be important, while many are still paying off Covid-era debts and facing higher operational costs. The association also calls for rates reform to support high street business. 
  4. New Youth Mobility Scheme arrangements should be reached with EU countries, to help meet challenges for the sector arising from post-Brexit restrictions on labour mobility.

Luke Petherbridge, ABTA’s Director of Public Affairs, said:

“It is always important to press home the policies which will help our sector to thrive, ahead of any Budget. But with a General Election certain in the next 12 months, it’s important to strongly represent travel and tourism both now and throughout the year.

“Our Budget submission is one of the many ways in which ABTA will be speaking with politicians across the political spectrum, to help realise our sector’s potential for growth and contribution to the UK economy.”

Notes to editors
ABTA is a trade association for UK travel agents, tour operators and the wider travel industry. We’re the largest travel trade body, with over 4,600 travel brands in membership who have a combined pre-pandemic annual UK turnover of £40 billion. We work closely with our members to help raise and maintain standards and build a more sustainable travel industry, and provide travellers with advice, guidance and support.

Our members sign up to a code of conduct and commit to agreed service standards and fair trading. When you need clear travel information, and accurate and impartial advice relating to your trip, we’re here for you. When you book with an ABTA member, reliable advice comes as standard. This means that booking with our members brings peace of mind.

All this together means we help you travel with confidence. www.abta.com