ABTA today launched its first ever Manifesto outlining ABTA’s position on the key lobbying issues facing the travel industry. ABTA Members including Board Directors, the FTO Board and the Council of Regions joined MPs, Peers and civil servants at the event in the House of Lords along with ABTA Travel Industry Partners, the UK Tourism and Leisure Group and ABTA staff.
The manifesto contains five priority demands:
1. Reform consumer protection for holidays, flights and accommodation to ensure that all the travelling public are protected.
2. Reform Air Passenger Duty to incentivise planes to fly full with a fair tax contribution based on efficiency of aircraft not on a per-passenger basis, and more closely align the duty to distance travelled.
3. Safeguard jobs in the tourism sector by removing barriers to doing business successfully.
4. Increase airport capacity across the UK but especially in the south-east of England to meet current and future needs.
5. Create a dedicated Minister of Tourism and give a Whitehall department the lead responsibility for the domestic, inbound and outbound tourism sectors.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said, “ABTA is serious about taking the concerns of travel agents and tour operators right to the heart of government and this manifesto puts the issues we’re fighting on in black and white. None of the political parties should be in any doubt where the travel and tourism sector now stands on our key issues.”
Luke Pollard, ABTA’s Head of Public Affairs said: “In less than two months we’re going to have a new batch of MPs and possibly a new government. With all the change in the political world we need to ensure that MPs and Peers understand what the concerns of our sector are clearly.
Whichever party wins the election they’ll have to decide on ATOL reform, airport expansion, changes to the tax regime affecting aviation and businesses as well as addressing climate change and continuing the recovery. ABTA’s manifesto sets out how we feel government can help our sector continue its economic recovery and we’ll be using it as our policy guide for the next year.”
The event hosted by Lord Graham of Edmonton, a long-time friend of the travel association, said: “The travel sector is an important part of the UK economy and I am very glad I can do my part in taking the sector’s concerns to government.”
The ABTA Manifesto can be downloaded from www.abta.com