Outbound industry leaders admitted they are frustrated at the lack of government recognition for the sector in a Barclays panel discussion on the future or air travel.

But they dismissed suggestions that domestic travel will boom at the expense of foreign holidays.

Referring to a speech by tourism minister Margaret Hodge last week, Advantage chief executive John McEwan said: “Hodge focused totally on the domestic market and did not say a word about the value of outbound travel. Its value is still not recognised by the government.”

The minister was speaking at an Institute of Travel and Tourism event.

Monarch Airlines chief executive Peter Brown said the industry should expect no help from the government despite the deteriorating economic outlook.

“We want the Treasury to cut taxes, but I do not think the government will do anything to help us,” he said.

Civil Aviation Authority consumer protection group director Richard Jackson agreed, but added: “There is little the government can do.”

Brown said people were mistaken if they thought they could save money holidaying in the UK: “Compare two weeks in a hotel in Cornwall with two weeks in Majorca, and Majorca will be cheaper.”