28 May

Specialist Leisure Group, plus communications and engagement during the crisis 

This week the impact of the crisis has been highlighted with Specialist Leisure Group going into administration and thousands of travel industry colleagues losing their jobs. Two of the Group companies, Shearings and Wallace Arnold, were Members of ABTA and much loved brands. 

It saddens me particularly this has come to pass after many weeks warning the Government that businesses were at risk, and I fear that Specialist Leisure Group will not be the last firm to fall because of the situation we find ourselves in, if the Government fails to act. 

ABTA has repeatedly highlighted to the Government the urgent need for a coordinated strategy with additional support and clear communication to help companies and avoid significant job losses. We will remain steadfast in this task and continue to support Members and customers through the crisis with communications of our own.

This week, we reached over one million visits to the ‘Coronavirus advice for customers’ page on abta.com since the start of February. Providing information, context and guidance to Members’ customers has been a priority for ABTA during this crisis. As well as record levels of engagement online, we have also been providing help though our Customer Support Team and through huge volumes of media activity – nearly 3,000 interventions since the start of February including 70 national TV interviews, plus press releases and media statements.
Members meanwhile have access to our various communication channels that include Operational Bulletins, ABTA Today email bulletins and special editions, the Member Zone on abta.com, weekly Member conference calls and free to attend webinars. To make sure you are accessing the best resources to suit your needs please email engagement@abta.co.uk.

Back in November I announced that Victoria Bacon, ABTA’s Director of Brand and Business Development, would be leaving in mid-March to focus on consultancy and advisory work alongside spending more time with family. Victoria has made an enormous contribution to ABTA over the last nine years as part of ABTA’s leadership team and I am personally grateful to her for staying with us longer to provide her expertise during this crisis. This though will be her last week at ABTA, and I would like to wish her the very best in the next stage of her career. 

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive