13 May

The restart of international travel

Monday sees the restart of international travel. It is not the return that the industry hoped for. As I said, along with other ABTA spokespeople, to media last week it is a much more slow and cautious approach than expected. It doesn’t make the wider recovery of our sector any easier.

In our lobbying with Government in recent months we’ve highlighted the need for the travel industry to be able to trade its way out of the crisis. We’ve also pressed on the ongoing need to provide specific support – yet the Government has not been forthcoming with anywhere near the financial support needed. You will have hopefully seen my video message yesterday, explaining that ABTA has taken the first legal step to challenge the adequacy of the UK Government’s financial support for the UK travel sector during the pandemic. We await the Government’s response and will keep you posted on the developments. 

Providing clarity for Members and customers 
There is an important role for ABTA to provide guidance for its Members on what the latest developments mean for their obligations to their customers. We have updated our coronavirus advice for Members, which includes guidance around refunds for package holidays booked to amber and red destinations.

We have also launched a new hub of essential customer information and advice, which is the first phase of ABTA’s new #ReadySteadyTravel campaign, which will provide holidaymakers with the support and guidance they need to book and travel with confidence this year. We are also updating our customer coronavirus Q&A and a revamped version will be published in the coming days. You can find the hub at abta.com/readysteadytravel.

We will be promoting this advice on social and through national media, and we have marketing assets Members can use to promote this advice to their customers, which can be found in the marketing toolkit. More details on the new campaign will follow shortly. 

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive