18 Feb

Working together as the Save Future Travel Coalition

All eyes in the travel sector are on the Prime Minister’s statement this Monday – how will society and the wider economy start to exit the current lockdown and what might be said about travel specifically?
In anticipation, we were busy with national media at this start of this week, setting out what the industry needs to hear from Government, including an interview I did with Sky News looking ahead to the announcement on the 22nd.
Yesterday, we published a blog from the Save Future Travel Coalition, highlighting ABTA’s views and those of our fellow coalition members. Within it, we say that Government must work to get people travelling again in time for the summer, though we don’t expect a date to be set yet – there are too many unknowns, not least the effectiveness of the vaccines against new COVID variants and their ability to stop transmission of the virus. Importantly, we can’t expect consumer confidence to return until we know more on these issues.
It’s important to present not just an ABTA view to Government but to work with other bodies in travel to strengthen the impact of our message. The Save Future Travel Coalition meets regularly, and at yesterday’s meeting we discussed the approach we should take both to next week’s Prime Ministerial announcement and other critical moments coming soon, such as the Budget on 3 March. We agree that sharing messages and speaking in a strong but measured way are the best routes to ensure we are not just heard but considered by decision-makers in Government. ABTA continues to engage with departments across Government to ensure this is the case, including through the Tourism Industry Council and Department for Transport Expert Steering Group, both of which are currently considering matters related to restart.
We will be continuing to make the industry’s voice heard in this way – both as ABTA and as part of the Save Future Travel Coalition – at what continues to be an extremely difficult time for Members. In particular, we will be holding a roundtable discussion with representatives from across Government departments next week.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive