21 Jan

Bringing the industry together to advocate for a roadmap to reopen travel

In my blog last week and in ABTA’s recent media work, I talked about the need for Government to work with industry to find a roadmap for restarting travel. This has been a big focus of our engagement with Government and the wider travel industry this week. 
We are speaking to Government ministers and officials, as well as destinations, about implications of the vaccine for future travel, how that fits with existing processes, and what other measures could be used or introduced to enable travel when it is appropriate to do so. It’s important that the Government continues to explore the latest developments in testing, as recommended by the Global Travel Taskforce, in parallel with consideration of the effect of vaccination. 
On Monday we brought together the Save Future Travel Coalition to identify and discuss the considerations we think Government should be looking at as part of developing a roadmap to reopen travel. On the back of that meeting we are writing to the Transport Minister Grant Shapps to outline our considerations and will also share these with Government officials.
We are also working with airline and airport partners, through the Future Aviation Group, on these matters, and Director of Public Affairs, Luke Petherbridge, presented to a number of Peers and MPs within the group on this topic earlier this week.  We are now in the process of setting up another Whitehall roundtable – where we bring together senior representatives from across Government departments – to discuss the issues facing the sector and start to develop a roadmap.
You will, I hope, have seen from our recent national media coverage that we continue to stress the need for tailored financial support for the sector, recognising that the industry hasn’t been able to generate income for over 10 months now, and highlighting the role travel agents and tour operators play in supporting jobs and the economy. 

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive