03 Jun

The ABTA Plan

ABTA has begun to implement an ambitious new Plan, which outlines ABTA’s and its Members’ role in building a successful and sustainable future for the travel industry.

ABTA’s mission is to build confidence at the heart of travel – confidence for customers to book; confidence for companies to trade and invest; confidence that the industry is building a sustainable future.

The Plan is represented as sections of a circle which comes together as a picture of a sustainable industry where successful businesses offer quality products to confident customers. Thriving destinations continue to attract investment and reap the social and economic rewards of tourism, while their long term sustainability is achieved through responsible use of resources in a finite world. The industry will continue to provide rewarding jobs in the UK and overseas, and the full recognition of its economic contribution will result in a fair and proportionate tax take. 

Mark Tanzer – ABTA’s Chief Executive said: “Our Plan is a long term vision for the industry. ABTA is at the heart of the travel industry, standing for confidence, expertise and fairness. We can unite the travel industry and make sure the benefits of travel are maximised. The issues highlighted in the ABTA Plan are live, real and ones we must tackle effectively. We will always be committed to the success and sustainability of our Members, and this commitment will also benefit the wider travel industry.”

ABTA will continue to provide and improve its valued services to Members to help them run profitable businesses. These services include:

Public Affairs 

As the lead voice of our sector, ABTA will campaign vigorously to influence policy in the UK, Europe and in destinations.

Financial Protection

ABTA has led the initiative to extend financial protection beyond its current scope. If successful, more customers will be protected; consumer understanding and confidence will grow; the industry will be clearer about regulation and competition will be fairer.

Destinations and Sustainability

ABTA and its members need to further embrace the principle of sustainability in order to secure the long term commercial viability of travel and tourism. ABTA’s role in this area is to drive and support Members’ initiatives; to co-ordinate activities with other bodies such as destination governments and the Travel Foundation; to act as an authoritative source of information and guidance for members.

Foundations for Success

For ABTA to be able to deliver its agenda, it will need to remain the badge of quality in the travel sector. This is reinforced by:

• Entry level scrutiny
• The Code of Conduct
• Ongoing monitoring of Members’ trading practices

The ABTA brand’s consumer value is reinforced by our activities in:

• Consumer affairs – a fair interface between Members and customers
• Alternative Dispute resolution
• ABTA’s media presence in respect of crises and travel disruption

The continuity of ABTA’s subscription revenue is dependent on its ability to supply valued, cost-effective services to Members. These include:

• Retail and operator bonding
• Health and safety guidance for Members and destinations
• Crisis management and co-ordination
• Travel sector legal advice
• Guidance and information on travel issues
• Leadership and collaboration through expert groups and committees,

ABTA Membership Profile

ABTA’s membership is currently focused on providers of travel services, currently comprising travel agents, tour operators and cruise companies. Most of the Members’ business is leisure and outbound-oriented.

ABTA is looking to expand its current membership base. The criteria are that new Members should be financially sound; should share a broad policy agenda with existing members; should adhere to standards implicit in the ABTA brand and Code of Conduct and should value the type of services ABTA is capable of providing.

To help achieve the Plan, ABTA has also begun an overhaul to its management processes and is putting together a new IT and online strategy to help make sure it is fit for purpose in the modern digital age.