27 Oct

Engaging with the new Government on issues that matter to Members

This week we saw the third UK Prime Minister in office in as many months. Changes at the top also brought further movement within the Cabinet, with Mark Harper becoming Transport Secretary and Grant Shapps moved from the Home Office and installed as the new Business Secretary. 

The change in Government comes at a time when the rising cost of living is really starting to bite. Energy bills are on the increase, even with the support from Government, and inflation remains high, with day to day essentials all increasing in price. As I said in my press statement on Monday – what businesses and consumers need now is stability, clarity, and confidence that we are set on a path to economic recovery. 

We look forward to working with the new Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, and also to building upon our existing relationship with Grant Shapps, whose department is responsible for the review of the Package Travel Regulations, business relations, and climate change policy – an area where the industry needs Government support to ensure the UK is a world-leader in efforts to decarbonise aviation. 

Working in partnership is an important part of our lobbying activities, including through the Future Travel Coalition, which ABTA established along with a number of travel trade bodies. As you will see from this week’s ABTA Today, the coalition has outlined its shared priorities – areas where we believe we can work together well to present a clear and consistent message to Government on behalf of our collective members. 

These are the policy areas we will be focusing on in the coming weeks and months, but there are also others ABTA is addressing which are outside the coalition, including outstanding issues from the UK’s departure from the EU.

We’ve also been sharing the findings of the latest Future Travel Coalition’s survey with Government, looking at how businesses fared during the first summer of trade since the pandemic, and understanding more about their financial situation in light of the cost of living crisis. The findings recognise that while trading was much improved this summer, compared to 2020 and 2021, challenges still lie ahead for travel companies, particularly in servicing debt taken on during the pandemic and with the rising cost of living and operations.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive