Comment: Let’s force travel up the political agenda

I have no doubt that most of you will be preparing to head to the polls – or will already have cast your vote – as you read this week’s issue of Travel Weekly.

With this general election described as among the toughest ever to predict, the one certainty as we went to press was that there was very unlikely to be on outright winner come Friday morning.

This, of course, means we are likely to be facing days or even weeks of uncertainty, as the parties wrangle over the structure of the next government.

And that uncertainty – and the lack of focus that inevitably comes with it – is never good news for business.For the travel industry, the hiatus will be even more unwelcome, as an already marginalised topic is forced to wait even longer for its no doubt fleeting moment in the spotlight.

It’s a critical time for our sector, with major issues around airport capacity, taxation and the Package Travel Directive all coming to a head.

Yet only an unabashed optimist would believe that travel will be front-of-mind for politicians.Does that mean the lobbying carried out in the run-up to the election has been a waste of time? Of course not.

But as Abta’s Stephen D’Alfonso stresses this week, the hard work is really only just beginning.

Even though the members of our new parliament may initially be distracted by their own political futures, we must hit the ground running to force the issues facing our industry higher up the political agenda.

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