16 Jul

ABTA launches a manifesto for tourism growth with Parliamentary Reception

New analysis highlights the importance of travel and tourism jobs to UK economy

ABTA is today launching a manifesto highlighting travel and tourism’s vital role in the economy and setting out ABTA’s key priorities for the political parties ahead of next year’s general election. ‘A manifesto for jobs and growth in Tourism’ will be launched with a Parliamentary Reception held on 16th July at the House of Commons.  It is expected that over 60 MPs and Peers will attend.

ABTA will use the manifesto to continue building consensus in Parliament amongst the political parties, MPs and Parliamentary candidates and to call for:

  • Increased airport capacity in the next parliament;
  • Investment in infrastructure to improve surface access and the passenger experience;
  • Reform and reduction of Air Passenger Duty;
  • A cohesive approach to tourism policymaking;
  • Completion of consumer protection reforms in a balanced and comprehensive way.

ABTA’s manifesto is supported by new analysis from the Cebr* and demonstrates how travel and tourism is a significant and growing source of employment in the UK. This is in addition to a recent Deloitte study that highlighted total employment supported by the industry totals 3.1 million – nearly 10% of the UK workforce. The industry has also created a third of all new employment since 2010.

The Cebr research highlights the diverse, inclusive and accessible nature of travel and tourism as an employment sector, namely that:

  • Travel and tourism provides excellent youth employment opportunities with over 1/3 of all workers in the industry aged under 30;
  • Entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers are thriving, with the proportion of self-employed workers in the industry exceeding that of the wider economy;
  • With almost double the amount of part-time jobs compared with the wider economy, the industry offers flexible jobs for students, those in training and young people;
  • Apprenticeships provide great opportunities for young people, with the transport sector in particular providing considerably more (14%) than the wider economy (10%);
  • The sector caters for all skills levels, with 8% of workers having no qualifications at all, but 20% educated to degree level or higher;
  • Women make up 51.4% of the industry workforce, far higher than the UK average.

The Parliamentary reception will be attended by over 60 MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum. ABTA members and senior industry leaders will also be in attendance, taking the opportunity to discuss industry and wider consumer and transport issues with MPs and showing the commitment of the industry to working with Government to develop and support the travel and tourism industry.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “We are delighted to launch our manifesto in the House of Commons, highlighting our key priorities ahead of the next General Election. As an industry, we can point to some real progress in convincing this Government to move on reforms to both APD and consumer protection and also in influencing and moving forward the airport capacity debate. But we as an industry, and the Government, must do more. To compete in this fast-paced global marketplace, it is crucial that the momentum that the industry has been steadily building behind necessary reforms and policies picks up steam beyond 2015, and that is why we are launching this manifesto.”

Stephen D’Alfonso, ABTA Head of Public Affairs said: “The ABTA manifesto, and the new research that supports it, is designed to remind policymakers just how innovative, exciting and important the travel and tourism industry is to the UK economy. We will now focus on making our case to MPs and parliamentary candidates of all political colours to give them the evidence they need to deliver our industry’s priorities should they be elected in 2015.”

For more information go to www.abta.com/manifesto.

* Research report has been produced this June by Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), an independent economics and business research consultancy established in 1992. The study was led by Osman Ismail, Senior Economist with analytical and research support from Christopher Evans, Economist and Colin Edwards, Senior Economist. The study was overseen by Oliver Hogan, Cebr Director. The study utilised information available in the public domain through ONS, and data provided to by the UK Data Service.