Nine industry bodies representing more than 7,000 companies aim to strengthen collective government lobbying by forming the Travel Industry Alliance (TIA).

Associations representing travel, tourism and aviation sectors, both inbound and outbound, leisure and business are involved.

The alliance, which does not include Abta, has been formed to engage with government on “issues of the day” and allow peer group sharing and discussion on their specific sectors.

Participating associations include: Aito, African Travel and Tourism Association, Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BARUK), Business Travel Association,
Clia, the UK and Europe chapter of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Latin American Travel Association, PATA UK & Ireland and UKinbound.

The TIA has two initial and immediate objectives focused on travel safely restarting. It will seek to collaborate with government departments to:

  1. Encourage the Foreign Office to pull back from issuing advisories due to Covid-19 and become a “purely informational” source
  2. Enable travellers to access the UK without any quarantine at the earliest opportunity, whether through pre-departure testing, test and release, or some other measure that helps restart travel.

TIA co-chairman Danny Callaghan, chief executive of the Latin America Travel Association, said: “Trade and consumers need to make informed decisions about where they can go rather than being effectively banned.

“The current FCDO advice is rather moot in most cases anyway because countries with Covid- 19 problems will close their borders, making destination availability almost self-regulating.”

He added: “As an industry, we safely manage travel for millions of customers every year and, whilst Covid-19 poses slightly different challenges, the principles are the same, and if we are allowed to safely restart, that mitigates the need for financial support and actually see us starting to contribute back to the Treasury.”

Aito deputy chairman Derek Moore, also co-chairman of the TIA, added: “We know that any sort of quarantine on arrival will render inbound tourism impossible, which also impacts on outbound tourism due to reduced demand for flights, as well as harming the UK’s hospitality and retail sectors.”

The TIA will be surveying their combined 7,000 member companies to gather data which will reinforce their work in the future.

The new association plans to join the Future of Aviation and its All-Party Parliamentary Group, chaired by Henry Smith, MP for Crawley which includes Gatwick.