27 Aug

We must keep the pressure up to Save Future Travel

This week, ABTA has written to the Chancellor to urge the Government to consider tailored support in the form of a package of measures to assist travel businesses and employees at this most challenging time.

Alongside the letter, ABTA has shared with the Government a report based on the results of our Member survey that highlights the stark impact on the sector from the measures to control the pandemic. 

The letter reiterates the significant value of outbound travel to the UK economy, the employment it supports, its role in sustaining aviation networks and inbound tourism, and also how it underpins the UK’s trading partnerships and inward investment.

The plan proposes the following steps to Save Future Travel:

  1. Provide additional certainty for businesses consumers by moving to a regionalised quarantine and FCO travel advice policy, as opposed to whole-country advice.
  2. Work with industry to introduce a testing regime for arrivals that will enable travel to resume to global trading partners and mitigate the risk of infection from high risk countries.
  3. Boost demand for travel through an APD holiday covering summer 2021.
  4. Provide support for travel agents, the majority of whom are SME businesses, through recovery grants based on the previous grant-funding made available to Retail, Hospitality and Leisure businesses. In addition, extend other valuable business support measures, such as business rates relief, into the financial year 2021/22.
  5. Offer tailored salary support beyond the end of the furlough scheme in October, aimed at businesses that have not experienced significant recovery in revenues. Ongoing salary support for a short period would preserve thousands of roles in travel.

The results of the Member survey have received much attention in the media, resulting in 130 interventions, and it is important that the momentum continues through our private conversations and correspondence with the Government and our public communications. 

To support your own lobbying efforts, ABTA has prepared a briefing paper for Members on these results to use with your own MPs. As ever, please keep us informed about your MP engagement through our Public Affairs team at publicaffairs@abta.co.uk

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the Member survey. Real time information from the front line of travel is essential in helping us keep up the pressure on Government to Save Future Travel.