Agents, operators and other travel professionals across the country will be contacting their MPs to coordinate their lobbying during the Travel Day of Action next Wednesday (June 23).
Organised by the Save Future Travel Coalition, the day will see hundreds of agents and industry colleagues attend gatherings in London, Edinburgh and Belfast – as well as virtual and local events for those unable to travel.
Derek Jones, chief executive of Kuoni parent Der Touristik UK, told a Travel Weekly webcast: “It’s an extension of the lobbying campaign that has been ongoing for a long time; it’s a turbo charging of that activity.
“This is how the corridors of power work, if everybody is getting the same messaging at the same time with a single voice and the same logic, then it does cut through.
“It is already making a difference and will continue to do so.
“If we stick together, and it is a single voice, then it is powerful.”
He will be attending in person, along with Kuoni’s PR director, and is encouraging staff to support the efforts by lobbying their MP and spreading the word on social media.
Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership, told the webcast that the event is a culmination of a year of lobbying by the Save Future Travel Coalition.
“We have to stay optimistic, there is still hope,” she said – but added there is a lot of “nervousness” from many businesses that have been unable to trade.
“We are coming up to another summer…there is no light at the end of the tunnel right now,” she said.
She hopes the event will convince MPs and members of the devolved assemblies of the need to support the sector financially and back a meaningful restart of travelling.
The timing is key, as the day of action follows the Abta Travel Matters conference and comes the day before the next review of country travel restrictions on June 24, and the reviews of the domestic road map and travel framework on June 28.
She urged agents who have meetings planned with their MP to let the event organisers know, so they can coordinate the messaging.
A Twitterstorm is planned for the day, and the organisations involved are using their PR and communications teams to promote the messages to national and trade press – and urged those attending to bring banners too.
Mark Johnson, director at Polka Dot Travel said he has written to MPs and planning to attend the event and promote it on social media.
“My business has been dismantled with the pandemic. I have come so far, 15 months down the line, what I am not going to do is just give up now,” he told the webcast.
“We have got to fight for this.
“This will pass. Life has to get back to normal. I still believe there is demand for travel overseas, a huge demand.
“It will bounce back very strongly and I want to make sure that I am there at the end of it, having survived 15 months, when it does reopen.”