The Travel Day of Action has hit headlines in newspapers, TV and radio bulletins across the country as the industry puts pressure on the government to act.
The BBC reported: “Hundreds of travel professionals have gathered outside the Houses of Parliament – and in cities up and down the UK – to draw attention to the ongoing struggles of the industry and ask for government support.”
Independent agent Linda Hill Miller, of LAH Travel in Glasgow, told the BBC: “I’ve spent 17 years building my family business and over the last 17 months I’ve lost every single penny.”
And Derek Jones, Kuoni UK chief executive, told the broadcaster: “We’re not a bowling alley, we’re not a pub – we can’t just close our business and send everybody home and use the furlough scheme.
“We’re a big business, we’ve got good financial backing, we can ride this out – but hundreds of good, independent travel agents are just being forgotten about.”
Jones was also quoted in the Telegraph, which featured extensive coverage online of the day of action, along with pictures and comments from agents and industry figures.
Tim Aldersale, chief executive of Airlines UK, told the Telegraph: “It is now or never for the government to reopen travel and save what is remaining of the summer season”, adding that the “travel sector remains in lockdown as the rest of the country opens up”.
ITV News reported on the day of action events, highlighting the campaign messages from Abta, agents, pilots and cabin crew.
It said the government will update its travel lists for England on Thursday adding: “ITV News understands it is expected to announce that fully vaccinated adults and children will be allowed to visit amber list countries without having to quarantine on arrival in Britain.
“Although the deal has not been agreed yet, transport secretary Grant Shapps told ITV News: ‘We have got a couple of checkpoints in the next few days and we’ll be able to say more once we’ve looked at the science.
“The most important thing is to hold onto the gains we’ve got, we’ve seeing the advantages by getting the jab rollout in this country, and I hope, start to see more people being able to live more normal lives.”
Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer appeared on Sky News and BBC News this morning ahead of the event, and was interviewed for a Channel 4 news bulletin at the Westminster gathering. Abta’s head of media and PR, Emma Brennan, spoke about what the industry needs on Talk Radio.
Advantage Travel Partnership’s leisure director Kelly Cookes was interviewed on Sky News at the Westminster lobby in the afternoon – and in the morning Julia Lo Bue-Said, the consortium’s chief executive spoke to new channel GB News, after an early start with an interview on BBC Three Counties Radio.
The Travel Network Group’s chief executive Gary Lewis was interviewed by Sky News and LBC Radio on College Green outside Westminster.
He was also quoted by the BBC, saying: “Businesses in the outbound travel sector have been left out in the cold with a lack of financial support and ambiguity about a safe route to international travel.”
The Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents (Anita) was featured on local TV, radio and newspapers with its lobbying at Stormont.
BBC Northern Ireland reported on the day of action, with an interview with Enniskillen travel agent Richard Cooper (Carefree Travel).