ABTA -The Travel Association today hosts two sessions at The Big Travel Trade Event at the Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick, in Northern Ireland (NI).
ABTA’s Head of Communications, Victoria Bacon will lead a panel discussion called “Selling holidays – what’s changing and what you need to do”. The session will focus on the recent changes to the ATOL scheme of financial protection as well as touching on the upcoming review of the EU Package Travel Regulations. Simon Bunce, Head of Legal and Member Services, ABTA, Simon Froome, Head of Risk Analysis, Civil Aviation Authority and Doreen McKenzie, Proprietor, Knock Travel will be the panelists.
In the second session, ABTA’s Senior Research and Public Affairs Manager, Stephen D’Alfonso, will present research and trends in the NI travel industry, highlighting tourism opportunities for business, and the potential for the travel industry to drive economic growth. As part of this he will be discussing the NI specific findings of a report ABTA recently commissioned from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).
The research was commissioned by ABTA to obtain an accurate picture of the outbound sector’s contribution to the UK economy, which is often inaccurately portrayed as only making a negative dent on the UK’s trade deficit versus domestic or inbound tourism. Overall the study shows that the outbound sector contributes over £22.1bn to the UK economy.
Speaking from the event, Stephen D’Alfonso, Senior Research and Public Affairs Manager, ABTA said: “Anecdotally we have known for a long time that the outbound sector is extremely significant to Northern Ireland employment and its economy. For the first time this report puts figures on that contribution and presents clear evidence on just how important the industry is to Northern Ireland’s growth. It shows that everyone from travel agents and tour operators to the publishing industry, the retail sector, the public sector and the financial services industry stand to benefit from a thriving outbound sector and it’s vital that the Government does its utmost to support the industry.”