07 Jun

Travel industry day of action planned for Wednesday 23 June 2021

Sector urged to get behind the day of action by travelling to Parliament to engage in organised lobby

Trade bodies from across the aviation and travel industries are coming together for a travel industry day of action (#traveldayofaction) on 23 June to put pressure on the UK Government to support a safe return to international travel in time for the peak summer period.

The day of action will be calling on the UK Government to:

  • Allow international travel to return safely and in a risk managed way by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan. 
  • Bring forward a package of tailored financial support to recognise that the unlocking of international travel, and hence businesses’ ability to trade and generate income, will be much slower than first anticipated, and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy. 

Organisers and supporters of the cross-industry day of action already include ABTA, Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association, BAR UK, UKinbound, the Business Travel Association, Advantage Travel Partnership, TTNG, IATA and the other 11 Members of the Save Future Travel Coalition, with other industry organisations welcome to join. 

The bodies are calling on all corners of the travel industry – every airline, airport, tour operator, travel agent, supplier and partner - to get involved and support the activities of the day. 

The day of action will involve an organised lobby at the Houses of Parliament – which would see Members of Parliament meet with a large number of their constituents at Westminster on a single day. There are also plans being developed for events across other parts of the UK, targeted at the Devolved Administrations. The event is intended to generate and attract national media attention and will also seek to gain traction on social media. 

The day of action will take place on 23 June, just ahead of when the Government is expected to discuss and decide on the next steps for international travel, with an announcement currently scheduled for 28 June. At this review, the Government will be reviewing both the traffic light list and also the requirements, measures and systems in place for international travel. The day’s activities will start from 12.30pm allowing people time to travel down for the day. 

The day will be the culmination of intense lobbying and political engagement over the next few weeks. Activity ahead of the day will include ABTA’s Mark Tanzer’s appearance at the Treasury Select Committee today (7 June, 3.30-5.30pm) and the parliamentary debate on Thursday 10 June which looks at support for the aviation, travel and tourism industries. 
More information on the day and how to get involved will be published on www.abta.com/traveldayofaction once further details have been confirmed. 

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association said:

“These next weeks will be critical for the travel industry. We have been working together since the start of the pandemic to make the sector’s case on what the industry needs to get through this crisis and return safely to international travel. We’re in a situation where the Government is curtailing overseas travel but isn’t providing tailored support for the travel industry. The longer this goes on the more jobs, livelihoods and businesses are at risk.” 

Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK said:

“The UK is falling behind other countries, including many of our competitors in Europe, when it comes to restarting our aviation and travel sectors. With the success of the vaccine rollout, it is vital the Government takes steps to capitalise on the progress that has been made, otherwise we face doing severe long-term damage to the economy and the competitiveness of our world-leading aviation sector.

“Quite clearly the time has come for every corner of our industry – from aviation to inbound and outbound tourism and business travel – to come together if we are to have any hope of getting international travel properly up and running in time for the main summer weeks. Failure to do so would be truly catastrophic with so many tens of thousands of jobs hanging in the balance.” 

Julia Lo Bue-Said, Chief Executive Officer of Advantage Travel Partnership said:

“We all need to be pulling together towards this one single date, so it has the greatest media and political impact. It is imperative the industry speaks with one clear voice to demand action from the Government urgently on the safe recovery of travel and tourism.  Not only are we trailing behind other countries on opening up travel, we are trailing behind every other British industry which has had the benefit of conforming to the domestic road map outlined by the Government. This is tantamount to woeful neglect and we as industry intend to redress the balance and get Government to back us as we strive to save jobs and businesses.”

Gary Lewis, CEO of The Travel Network Group said: 

“We urge our members and the wider outbound travel industry to get behind the day of action on 23 June. The travel day of action is in response to the shocking, illogical announcement from the Government which effectively cancelled travel for the foreseeable future and went against the expectations set in the Global Travel Taskforce report. 

“Until people can travel freely, and the travel industry is able to get back on its feet, we need the Government to provide direct financial sector-specific support which we have been calling for since summer 2020. Our industry employs over 221,000 people and contributes £37.1 billion to the economy but our calls for support and clarity have not been met. We hope that the Government takes notice of the day of action and acts on the industry’s demands before further damage is done.”

Joss Croft, Chief Executive of UKinbound said:

“Inbound tourism is the UK’s third largest service export industry worth £28.4 billion to the UK economy and employing nearly half a million people, but our sector is struggling to survive and is in desperate need of support. We’re calling on our members and the wider tourism community to get involved in this day of action. Every conversation and engagement with your local MP on this day will have an impact and will help put pressure on the UK Government to take action to support our industry.” 

The day of action is particularly targeting the UK Government given the strategic review on 28 June. The industry is encouraging businesses across all four nations to support the day of action – either by attending the Westminster event or getting involved in planned activities closer to home. The SPAA and ANITA are among the organisations involved, with the intention to also hold events that are targeted at Devolved Administrations. More information on logistics will be forthcoming in the days ahead. 

For further information, go to: