16 Sep

Thank you for helping us make the case

The beginning of October will see two changes in Government policy: the strategic review of international travel and the winding up of the furlough scheme, both of which will have an immense impact on our Members’ businesses. So, this week we have again stepped up our ongoing lobbying activity and media work, in an attempt to influence both, with Members’ support.
Writing to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Transport, we put forward the views of Members from our recent discussions with you on what you need from the strategic review.  Thank you for the time you took to engage with that process.
We achieved widespread and supportive coverage for this in the national and trade media, and you can see our full press release here. I was interviewed on the BBC and Sky News putting the case for extending the furlough scheme for travel businesses and a dedicated grant fund, capitalising on the vaccine rollout and only maintaining a red list for managing known variants of concern. There is no logical explanation as to why people who are fully vaccinated should be taking expensive PCR tests, or for that matter any test at all, when returning from lower risk countries. 
The Government’s travel policies have deepened the crisis in the outbound sector and are in stark contrast to our neighbours’ on the continent where double vaccinated citizens can travel without restriction. 
Social media also have an extremely important role to play in influencing politicians’ decision making and I would also like to thank everyone who took part in Tuesday’s Twitterstorm aimed at Rishi Sunak and Grant Shapps; it achieved 4.5 million impressions which represents a remarkable level of engagement. 
We also joined with Airlines UK and other travel associations in a further letter to Government on the topic this week.
You can still help. I would encourage Members to write to your MP about your own experiences. We have provided an updated template letter for you to share with your MP – available at: www.abta.com/savefuturetravel. Let’s all keep up the pressure to make the government see sense and provide the support that our industry desperately needs.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive