TWgroup editor Lucy HuxleyAlmost half the agents who took part in a poll this week said they would not vote in next week’s general election.

It is depressing to see that so many aren’t bothered about who runs this country. Clearly, none of the party leaders have convinced the trade they would make a difference to their lives – and who can blame them? None of their manifestos address travel.

And yet agents at last weekend’s launch of Celebrity Cruises’ Eclipse were very clear on what our government should be doing.

Now, as agents face extra financial burdens thanks to the volcanic ash cloud, they are calling for money raised by Air Passenger Duty to be ring-fenced to pay out against further ‘environmental disasters’ – not a bad idea given that the levy is meant to be an ‘environmental tax’.

Convincing the government to put more robust measures in place in case airspace is closed again is the agents’ other priority, because those who survived last week’s upheaval aren’t sure they would a second time.

Another cloud hangs over the industry this weekend as the judge considers his verdict in the case of two Thomas Cook reps who face charges of manslaughter through negligence after two children died while on holiday in Corfu in 2006.

The industry is collectively praying that Richard Carson and Nicola Gibson are found not guilty. A guilty verdict would not only mean the wrongful imprisonment of two reps but could alter the tour operating landscape for ever.