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Save Future Travel Coalition calls for clarity about restart plans

The Save Future Travel Coalition has written to key politicians to maintain pressure on the government about the restart of international travel and support for the sector.

The coalition comprises 15 leading travel associations and trade groups and its latest activity follows the publication of the Global Travel Taskforce report.

Writing to chancellor Rishi Sunak, the coalition said the gradual reopening of travel means the need for financial support for the sector remains.

It calls for furlough and self-employed income support for businesses operating in international travel to continue for a minimum of six months from May 17, with future reviews.

It also wants the extension of full business rates relief for travel companies operating from rateable premises, again for a minimum of six months from May 17.

Furthermore, it wants new sector-specific ‘recovery grants’ regime for travel agents, tour operators and travel management companies that are reliant on international travel for their revenues.

In its letter to the Foreign Office, the group stressed the need for urgent clarity on travel advice and the new country traffic light system.

It also wants “clear and transparent criteria” behind the travel advice decisions to be shared with the sector.

The group has also written to Hugh Merriman MP, chair of the transport select committee, asking for more detail about the traffic light system, the cost of testing and use of PCR tests for green countries – plus the need for a four-nations approach to reopening international travel.

Luke Petherbridge (pictured), director of public affairs at Abta, said: “It is really important we continue to put forward a consistent argument and approach to the UK government, and devolved nations, on the issues facing the sector and share our expert insight around the restart of international travel.

“There is still a number of unknowns around the government’s plans for the restart and a lot of detail missing.

“By engaging with ministers, departments, and a broader group of MPs, we can make sure that the voice of the organised travel sector is heard, and we are providing expert insight and constructive solutions about the restart of international travel.”

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