Industry associations have united as the Save Future Travel Coalition to demand government action to save jobs and businesses.
Abta, the Advantage Travel Partnership, AITO the Specialist Travel Association, the SPAA Scottish agents association, the Business Travel Association, UKinbound and the Association Of Touring & Adventure Suppliers (ATAS) have aligned their demands of ministers.
They want to see more-regionalised quarantine restrictions, testing of travellers to reduce quarantine times, business grants and salary support extended beyond October when the current furlough scheme ends.
The associations agreed to combine their efforts ahead of the Budget this autumn, with regular meetings and joint activities to secure government action.
Research by Abta, which launched the campaign early in the pandemic and convened an industry-wide meeting of the Coalition today, suggests 39,000 jobs have already been lost or are at risk in the sector.
Abta warns many more job losses are in the pipeline as 78% of travel companies have yet to start redundancy consultations but expect to.
The Save Future Travel Coalition is demanding:
- Regionalised quarantine and Foreign Office travel advice, and better co-ordination between the four nations of the UK;
- Testing to enable the resumption of travel to major destinations such as the Canaries or the US;
- An APD holiday to incentivise consumers to book ahead of summer 2021;
- Recovery grants and other business support for SMEs – including travel agents, tour operators and destination management organisations – to help businesses through to the end of the first quarter of 2021.
- Ongoing salary support until March 2021 for businesses which have not seen a significant recovery in revenue. This “could preserve tens of thousands of jobs in travel”, says the coalition.
Abta director of public affairs Luke Petherbridge said: “We must come together to highlight the vital strategic importance of travel for the wider UK economy.
“We must also offer ministers practical and workable solutions to problems facing the travel sector.
“With MPs returning to Parliament this week and the Budget nearing, now is an opportune moment to hammer home the plight of the industry and the actions needed to secure jobs and businesses.”
Julia Lo Bue Said, Advantage Travel Partnership chief executive, said: “Continued collaboration at this critical time requires all organisations pull together with a common message if we’re to salvage businesses and jobs.”
BTA chief executive Clive Wratten added: “It is imperative organisations from across our industry come together to combine our interests and demonstrate to the government the value travel delivers for the UK.”
SPAA president Joanne Dooey warned: “The entire travel sector is at massive risk. Governments need to understand this extends far beyond individuals missing out on a holiday.”
And Joss Croft, UKinbound chief executive, said: “Our industry is facing catastrophe without urgent help.”
ABTA launched the Save Future Travel campaign in April.
The coalition partners will look to build the campaign and join forces with other industry groups, including The Future Aviation Group of MPs which is supported by Abta, the Airport Operators Association, Airlines UK and other aviation bodies.
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