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LIVE: Reports from Travel Day of Action

The afternoon coverage from the Day of Action can be found on a new live feed here.

Travel Weekly spoke to figures representing travel agents, tour operators, airlines, trade associations and many others, hear what they had to say here

Morning updates, interviews and social media activity as the Travel Weekly team joins the Day of Action mass lobby at Westminster and we keep tabs on events in Holyrood, Belfast and other locations across the UK

This live feed is now closed, but you can check out our LIVE afternoon coverage by clicking here.

Trade leaders gather

2.10pm: Leaders of the organisations and associations behind the Westminster Day of Action meet.


MP defends government decisions

Tom Tugendhat, Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling, insists government making decisions based on science not politics.


Watch: Miles Morgan on travel’s plight

1.50pm: Miles Morgan Travel chairman Miles Morgan speaks to Lucy Huxley about the challenges facing the industry and is hopes that the Day of Action will make a difference


‘Too many false dawns’

1.35pm: John Bevan, divisional senior vice-president, dnata Travel Group, said: “It’s inspiring to see so many of our industry colleagues speaking up for travel today – both in person and online. Although indications are that travel will restart in the near future, we’ve had too many false dawns in the last 15 months and we join calls being made today for the government to commit to and stick by a clear and robust plan for the permanent and safe reopening of travel.

“As is being said by many others today, this industry provides a livelihood for millions and generates billions in revenue – it simply cannot continue to be overlooked.

“Unfortunately, for what were many well-run travel businesses, the loosening in restrictions in the coming weeks could be too little too late. Getting our industry back on its feet is not an overnight job. It will take time. That’s why we’re adding our voice to those calling for sector-specific support as we navigate what will no doubt be a bumpy road to recovery.”


BTA chief joins lobby

1:29pm: Business Travel Association chief executive Clive Wratten was among the first 400 members of the industry to take their place on Westminster’s College Greeen.


‘Industry speaking with one voice’

1:23pm: Kuoni chief executive Derek Jones said: “It’s been a really long 18 months and we have not always spoken with one voice. Today is an opportunity to come together with a single voice with a single message for government.

“It’s about understanding the rules to save travel and the government understanding the consequences of their actions. The government needs to respond and be there to support the industry.”

Derek Jones


Strong turnout at Holyrood


Aito hopes strength is in numbers


Photographer Steve Dunlop joins protest


Watch: Facebook Live from Westminster

1:03pm: Abta chairman Alistair Rowland and Miles Morgan Travel chairman Miles Morgan joined Lucy Huxley on a Big Bus Tours bus at the Westminster Travel Day of Action


Daniele Broccoli leads demands for support


Coverage for Belfast Day of Action

12: 41pm: BBC Northern Ireland has been speaking to members of the industry attending the Day of Action in Belfast.


MP: ‘Day of Action will make a difference’

12.36pm: Miles Morgan said he had a “very positive” meeting with his MP during the Day of Action. The chairman of Miles Morgan Travel said: “I have just met with my MP David Davis (Con: Monmouthshire) and had a very positive meeting. He was very understanding and believes countries on amber will open in August for double vaccinated holidaymakers and children.

“He said there was a very split view in parliament but his feeling was that the mood music is changing and he felt today’s Travel Day of Action would make a difference.”

Miles Morgan


Target leaders discuss importance of Day of Action

12.17pm: The founders of action group Target speak to Travel Weekly’s editor-in-chief in Westminster. Pole Travel’s Jill Waite and Westoe Travel’s Graeme Brett explain that the next two weeks will be make or break for agents.


More national media coverage

The Travel Network Group chief executive has been speaking to the BBC for its rolling news coverage, explaining: “Time is running out for UK travel businesses and we hope that the government will listen and respect the contribution we make to the UK economy.”

Meanwhile, Sky News and the Telegraph (paywall) are among other national media outlets to pick up the story.


More industry leaders arrive at Westminster

12.08: Travel Weekly’s Ben Ireland is one of the team of reporters covering today’s Day of Action. You can follow him on Twitter @ben_ireland_11.


Backing from British Chambers of Commerce


TTNG members take fight to Westminster


Lata members see staff numbers plunge 63%

11.58am: Latin America specialists have issued an update on the brutal impact of the pandemic on their businesses as the Latin America Travel Association joins the Travel Day of Action.

The association’s chief executive Danny Callaghan said: “At Lata, we urge the government to base their decisions on the epidemiological situation and the associated risks in each country rather than blanket bans.

“We call for transparency on the criteria that are being applied as the basis to these travel restrictions and we ask for travel to return in a safe and risk managed way by expanding the green list in line with the evidence and making the restrictions more proportionate, while keeping a red list to guard against risk variants.

“We urgently call for tailored financial support for our sector, including the extension of the furlough scheme, recognising that the travel industry’s ability to trade and generate income is much slower than first anticipated.”

Read the full story here.


Atas members support lobbying efforts

11.54am: Members of the Association of Touring & Adventure Suppliers are among the industry representatives lobbying government today.


Business travel backing

11.50am: Jason Geall, senior vice-president and regional general manager EMEA at American Express Global Business Travel, said: “We support our partners and the travel industry community on this Day of Action, and we continue our efforts talking with government officials, advocating for a safe restart to international travel. GBT is calling on the UK government to be consistent with emerging global protocol by expanding the green list to include fully vaccinated travellers coming from amber countries.”

“Every day the Government fails to act, we risk falling even further behind the EU, which is beginning to safely resume travel with its key trading partners. The hundreds of thousands of UK jobs dependent on the travel industry, and the wider economic recovery, cannot afford to wait.”


‘Entire ferry sector under threat’

11.35am: Brittany Ferries has backed the Day of Action, saying that the entire sector is under threat.

A statement said: “The peak summer holiday season is just around the corner. Yet there is still no transparency in the application of the government’s traffic light system for international travel.

“This year will be another hammer blow to Brittany Ferries’ fortunes. In 2019 the company carried 545,000 passengers during the peak summer season. In 2020 it carried 242,000. This year, reservations stand at just 173,000 passengers, less than a third of a normal year.

“At the start of 2020, the British people were told that the vaccination programme was their passport out of the Covid crisis. They have done their bit: now government must open the door to destinations where vaccination rates are high and Covid incidence is low.

“At the very least, government should clarify its position on double-vaccinations. The requirement for self-isolation must be discontinued for any fully-jabbed passenger returning to the UK from an amber list country.”


Aviation’s Travel Day of Action takes off

11.26am: Thousands of airline and airport staff are uniting to support the Travel Day of Action, taking part in organised rallies across the UK and joining the online calls for action. We round up some of the activity taking place at airports up and down the country.

Aviation & Travel Day of Action


Club Med boss backs day

11.16am: Estelle Giraudeau, UK & northern Europe managing director at Club Med, said: “The past 15 months have proven to be an incredibly challenging time for the travel industry which is why Club Med is pleased to be supporting the Day of Action.

“While we understand travel restrictions have been necessary to curb Covid cases, we cannot continue on this same trajectory as it will have a devastating (and for many an irreversible) impact on the international travel sector.

“With over 30 million UK adults fully vaccinated and over 80% already received their first dose, we would have hoped that restrictions would have started to ease, and yet we have seen the reversal of this. As a business, we are calling on the government to be more transparent and consistent with their traffic light system and stand as one with the travel industry who all feel they have been let down by the government.”

She added: “Like so many businesses, we are still working to get our full team back. We still have staff members on furlough and with the financial offering decreasing, coupled with no additional support from the government, we are becoming increasingly concerned about the longer-term impact.”


WTTC shows support

11.05am: The World Travel & Tourism Council has reminded its followers of the importance of the industry and the need to get it moving safely.


Travel Counsellor explains why the Day of Action is needed

10.56am: Travel Counsellor Suzanne Barney from Hinckley posted a video on Facebook, explaining that she doesn’t usually get involved in politics, but saying ‘enough is enough’. In the video, she outlines how the pandemic and the government’s approach has impacted her.


Travel Weekly team heads to Westminster

10.50am: The Travel Weekly team is supporting the mass lobby in Westminster today and has teamed up with Big Bus Tours to create a roving newsroom for the day. Watch out for interviews with industry leaders and those on the frontline throughout the day.


Labour MP says government ‘sat on hands’

10.45am: Jim McMahon, Labour MP for Oldham West & Royton, has taken to Twitter to lambast the government’s treatment of the sector.


Jet2 chief issues rallying call in Daily Mail

10.37am: Jet2holidays and Jet2.com chief executive Steve Heapy has written a column in the Daily Mail to mark today’s Day of Action. In the article, he says: “As the height of summer approaches, this is a make-or-break moment for the British travel industry. It is a time for dynamism, not delays, for optimistic courage rather than over-caution.”

Heapy Mail column


Transport committee chair lends support

10.27am: Conservative MP Huw Merriman has been one of the most vocal supporters of the industry. He’s taken to social media today, and you can also watch him outline his frustrations in a Travel Weekly webcast published this morning.

 


Aberdeen airport staff use semaphore to get message across


Southend Airport staff support Day of Action


Barrhead Travel chief outlines pressures

10.20am: Barrhead Travel’s Jacqueline Dobson has spoken of her frustrations in one of a series of videos published for the Day of Action by the SPAA.


Caroline Lucas backs event

10.15am: Green MP and former party leader Caroline Lucas has called for support for the sector during its extended shutdown.


National media coverage

10am: The BBC led its digital news today with the Travel Day of Action, with a headline reflecting the sector’s belief it is “now or never” to save the summer season. Meanwhile, Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer appeared on Sky News to outline the industry’s demands of government.


Industry joins lobbies

10am: Members of the travel industry have taken to social media to show their support for the Day of Action and outline the impact the pandemic is having on their businesses. Check out more using #speakupfortravel #traveldayofaction

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