ABTA’s annual Travel Matters conference took place yesterday in Westminster, with a fantastic line-up of speakers. During the day, it was particularly encouraging to hear the Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill MP recognising the vital work being done by the Airports Commission and affirming the Government’s commitment to increasing airport capacity in the South East.
With a theme of ‘Targeting Growth, 2015 and Beyond’ much of the discussion focused on the industry’s views on the economic recovery, and how the political decision-makers can best support travel businesses to thrive in a recovering economy. There was heated discussion over APD, with particular insights from MP Jim Fitzpatrick, who hammered home the point that to get politicians to pay attention and take action, the industry must harness the voice of constituents, as it has done to date through the A Fair Tax on Flying campaign.
Despite a focus on the UK, policy matters in Europe were not forgotten with Kate Jennings from the Department for Transport making it clear that work still needs to be done in Europe to clarify definitions around the scope of the Package Travel Directive – a view that ABTA supports.
In next week’s edition of ABTA Today we will provide a round up of the key sessions, and please do look out for the launch of ABTA’s Manifesto later in July, where we will set out our key asks of Government ahead of the run up to the 2015 General Election.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive