01 Oct

Keeping up the pressure with Save Future Travel campaign

This week we have been keeping up the pressure with the Save Future Travel campaign – highlighting to Government Ministers and national and local media the devastating impact the pandemic is having on travel agents and tour operators. We’ve also had confirmation that the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act has been extended to the end of the year – a good result in line with our lobbying activity.

On Wednesday I wrote to the Chancellor and Transport Secretary to raise my concerns about the Job Support Scheme and how it does little to support travel businesses, asking them to review this as a matter of urgency. I made the point that with people not travelling, travel companies are not generating cash and they cannot afford to pay a minimum of 55% of salaries to retain jobs at this time. I stressed that the situation is particularly stark for travel agents with many looking at experiencing a full year without significant revenues. I also emphasised the need to get people travelling again and why regionalising quarantine and introducing testing were critical to businesses’ survival.

The ABTA press team and I have been speaking to national and local journalists on the plight of the UK travel industry, stressing how the businesses and livelihoods, that so many of you have dedicated your lives to build, are at risk. Our new findings on the impact quarantine and last-minute changes to foreign office advice has on consumer confidence were featured in the Independent, Telegraph, trade media, as well as on a range of local BBC Radio channels and local news websites. 

I also want to encourage you to get in touch with your local MP to tell them about the impact the pandemic has had on your business. MPs need to know the personal and individual stories of what is happening in their constituencies – of the lost revenue, jobs at risk, mounting bills and debts – so that they truly understand the perilous situation facing the industry and the need for urgent action. Those stories, and the support amongst MPs they generate, will be invaluable in applying pressure on Ministers for more support.

We were encouraged this week to see that Ministers had heard ABTA’s calls to extend the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act until the end of the year. The Act gives struggling businesses extra protection from aggressive credit enforcement action relating to coronavirus debts and protection from eviction if the business is struggling to meet rent payments.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive