Longer-term measures will also be needed once travel restarts
As the UK emerges from lockdown, ABTA has continued to press the Government to demonstrate its commitment to ‘Save Future Travel’ by setting out a roadmap for recovery. A significant step is the restart of international travel, and we urgently need the much-trailed lifting of quarantine restrictions, accompanied, we presume, by a change in Foreign Office advice.
In parallel, next week the Chancellor is expected to make a fiscal statement outlining HM Treasury’s immediate plan to support the economy through the first stage of recovery, and I have written to him to call for longer-term measures to help our industry over the coming months.
Delivering tailored support, including ongoing salary support and financial assistance, would help to minimise job losses at a time when the industry is sadly witnessing an increasing number of COVID-19 related redundancies.
I have also emphasised the important role that Government must play in supporting businesses to rebuild demand and provide consumer reassurance. ABTA is encouraging the Chancellor to consider fiscal measures to boost demand, including cuts to VAT, and the tax on travel insurance, as well as a temporary suspension of Air Passenger Duty to cover the summer season next year.
Importantly, we have been able to ensure that our industry’s voice has been heard by Members of Parliament, who, thanks to you, are now aware of the exceptional challenges that face travel businesses. As part of the first phase of our Save Future Travel campaign over 25,500 emails were sent to MPs across the country by travel business owners, staff and supporters, and you can read more about its progress here.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive