TWgroup editor Lucy Huxley

It was suggested to me this week that mass tourism from the UK might not exist in five years’ time – and not because consumer demand will have waned, but because no one will dare facilitate it.

The pressure, cost and risk associated with increasingly prohibitive legislation and taxation are enough to put anyone off running travel firms.

And you can’t really blame them: why put yourself through all that pain? It’s not as if the margins are that great.

If this industry is to survive, grow and prosper and not go backwards by allowing more firms to be hauled into the dock or fail, we must ensure travel and tourism gets the recognition it deserves.

It’s the fifth biggest contributor to the UK economy, but there is no one devoted to fighting its cause in Westminster.

That’s nothing short of madness and at Travel Weekly, we’re saying it can’t go on.

With a general election likely in May, we must act now to convince the next government to commit to appointing a dedicated minister, who has tourism as their sole brief.

We must persuade the winning political party to appoint someone devoted to addressing issues such as those highlighted on this page, not to mention terrorism, pricing and health and safety, all of which are currently stifling the industry’s development.

But we can’t do it alone. The way the government treats travel will affect you: your jobs, your income, your careers, your futures.  If you’re proud of your industry and want to see it flourish not die, join us in saying yes to a minister.