17 Nov

Government acts on ABTA’s business rates support call

The Government has acted on ABTA’s call to extend business rates support for retailers. This should mean that travel agents with retail premises continue to receive a reduction in business rates, which we know has helped to ease some of the current financial pressures, particularly coming out of the pandemic.

We have been making the case to extend this support, and it has been a big feature of our lobbying and engagement with the Chancellor and Treasury in recent weeks, so it is good to see the Government act on our recommendation by including it in today’s Autumn Statement. Travel agents have been eligible to benefit from this rates relief so far and we will be working to see that they continue to get it through this extended period.

However, it is clear that the overall package of measures in the Autumn Statement will mean higher costs for businesses, with increases in the minimum wage and future increases to business rates, including confirmation of the revaluation of rates in April 2023, amongst the detailed measures confirmed in the HM Treasury documents published as the Chancellor re-took his seat in Parliament. 

We will continue to emphasise the unique position travel businesses are in, given the delayed return to international travel following COVID-19 restrictions, compared to other sectors in the UK economy. We’re also encouraging Members to make the case to their local MP and representative in the Devolved Administrations. You can do that using our template letters and new research on the value of outbound travel, which can be found here.

There will also be implications from the Autumn Statement on people’s personal finances and discretionary spending. Time will tell what that means in practice but, as we outlined in our Travel in 2023 report released today, holidays remain sacrosanct and where possible people are working to make sure they can take that much-cherished trip, despite the squeeze on finances.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive