01 Jul

Share your views and experiences with us

It’s always important for me and colleagues within ABTA to hear Members’ views on pressing issues. We’re currently asking Members to provide us with insight and information on two important areas – the impact on bookings following the traffic light list update last week and the ATOL reform consultation.
As is often the case with Government announcements at the moment, the traffic light list review wasn’t what we hoped for. While on the one hand it is good to see some of the more popular holiday spots move onto the green list/green watch list, as I said in my response to the media last week it is nowhere near enough to kickstart the industry’s recovery. 
We are making this point to Government and are asking Members to provide information on the impact on bookings following the announcement, so we can share this evidence, anonymously, with Government. You can complete the survey here. The aim is to help demonstrate that the limited changes to the green list are nowhere near enough to help the sector return to normal.
This information is particularly important as we continue to stress the dire situation the industry is in and the need to provide tailored financial support. I know many of you will be deeply concerned about the rise in furlough costs and business rate contributions that come into effect today. These are costs that you can well do without, and they put additional pressure on finances that are already severely stretched. To help make the industry’s case, ABTA Members have been giving interviews to national media and we wrote an open letter to the Chancellor and Secretary of State on this very issue earlier this week.  

We continue to press with Ministers and officials the wide range of issues that are being experienced across the entire sector, including the ongoing exclusion from financial support that many self-employed and homeworking agents are experiencing. The survey also asks for feedback on recent changes to the Additional Restriction Grants scheme, in England, and what this has meant for access to grants support. ABTA has written to the Business Minister, Paul Scully, on this matter to call for the next round of ARG funding to be targeted again at travel businesses, given that is expected that travel will be one of the only sectors of the UK economy still under severe government-imposed restrictions from 19 July.
I also wanted to remind you that tomorrow is the deadline for you to respond to our consultation on ATOL reform. We’re keen to hear views from across the ABTA Membership to help shape our response to the Government’s consultation, and ensure it is full and rounded.
Thank you to all of you who have already responded to the survey and consultation. Having evidence like this is really important for the work we do on behalf of Members, underpinning our engagement with Government and key stakeholders.  

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive