21 Sep

Representing members in the corridors of power

ABTA is in the midst of a busy period of engagement with politicians and officials – making our members’ case on what the industry needs to ensure its growth and prosperity.

Underpinning all our work is that we demonstrate the value of the outbound travel industry to the UK economy. This weekend will see the start of the party conference season and ABTA will be representing members at the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats conferences – highlighting that the outbound travel industry contributes £49bn to the UK economy and supports over 800,000 jobs.

Addressing the challenges businesses are facing employing UK staff in the EU will also be amongst the topics we raise with politicians at the conferences. It follows on from discussions with MPs in Parliament last week where we highlighted our policy recommendation to extend the youth mobility scheme to EU countries. This work will continue over the autumn as we bring together members, MPs and parliamentary candidates for a series of roundtable discussions.

Another important issue we are working on are the post-16 education reforms. We were pleased to host a meeting of the Tourism Education and Skills Working Group last week to discuss the next steps in trying to secure an alternative qualification for when the current courses end in 2026.

At the meeting, the group agreed on a set of core themes that would need to be covered by future level 3 travel and tourism qualifications. The group will hold a series of workshops to get feedback from members and the wider industry on the themes and content for future courses, so please look out for dates.

We’ve seen a number of Government announcements relating to the travel industry this week, including the launch of the review of the Package Travel Regulations and new legislation relating to the promotion of animal attractions abroad. In terms of the PTRs, we will be consulting with our members and will be holding a number of meetings bringing together members and the Department for Business and Trade. More details to follow soon.

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced changes to the Government's approach to achieving net zero by 2050. It shows that the debate around how to achieve net zero is a significant and live one. ABTA is in close contact with all political stakeholders make sure the interests of our members and their customers are taken into account, including the need for Government support for investment to help the travel industry bring down emissions.


Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive