Outbound and inbound industries must continue working together
Today marks a year since the Travel Day of Action – one of the biggest political events in the travel and tourism industry’s history.
We’re proud of the joint working across the entire UK travel industry to pull that event together and we also want to thank everyone who took part on the day.
The months following the Day of Action were still very difficult, but the benefits of the industry having a collective voice were seen when the UK was amongst the first major tourism economies to lift its travel restrictions – benefitting both outbound and inbound travel.
The Travel Day of Action and the lobbying activities of the Future Travel Coalition throughout the pandemic were about getting people travelling again – both heading overseas from the UK and bringing foreign visitors to our shores.
It was a good example of how the outbound and inbound travel sectors need to work together and can do effectively where our interests coincide. In fact, we have a long history of this including through longstanding forums and bodies such as the Tourism Industry Council and Tourism Alliance.
This work needs to continue.
There is a strong interdependence and interaction between all parts of the UK’s tourism mix, inbound, outbound and domestic. We have many shared policy interests, for example, around ensuring competitive taxes, and much of the physical infrastructure that supports all parts of UK tourism is the same – outbound and inbound travellers use the same airlines, airports, ports, roads and tunnels.
Brexit is a case in point. Labour mobility is an issue we have actively been working on with colleagues in UKinbound and other bodies, advocating the extension of the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme as something that would have mutual benefits. It would enable outbound businesses to more easily get UK national staff into destinations to support UK tourists overseas, while also offering access to a wider labour pool, including workers with vital language skills for the inbound and domestic tourism industry here in the UK.
While we won’t always agree on everything or have all the same priorities, outbound and inbound travel businesses have plenty of shared interests and joint working between the sectors has never been more important.