Associations from across the travel industry came together earlier to discuss how they can continue working together to lobby government on the need for specific support to save jobs and businesses in the travel industry, following the coronavirus crisis.
ABTA, Advantage Travel Partnership, AITO, ATAS, the BTA, the SPAA and UKinbound met via video conference to discuss shared objectives such as regionalising quarantine, introducing testing and ongoing salary and grant support schemes.
The associations agreed to increase coordination, and the combination of efforts ahead of the Budget this autumn – with regular meetings to exchange insight and knowledge and undertake joint activities to try to secure the targeted support the industry desperately needs.
Recent research from ABTA, who convened the meeting, revealed that 39,000 jobs have already been lost or are at risk in the industry.
Many more are in the pipeline as 78 per cent of companies are yet to start redundancy consultations but expect to in the coming months.
Luke Petherbridge, director of public affairs at ABTA, said: “The entire travel industry is going through a period of uncertainty and challenge like it has never seen before.
“It is our job as travel associations to make the case for our industry.
“We must come together to highlight the vital strategic importance of travel for the wider UK economy, as businesses that underpin the country’s aviation connectivity, and support inward investment and export earnings.
“Alongside championing the importance of the sector, we must also offer Ministers practical and workable solutions to problems facing the leisure and business travel sectors.”
ABTA originally launched the Save Future Travel campaign in April which saw over 25,000 emails sent to MPs asking them to support the industry.
The coalition partners will be looking to build on that platform, as well as engaging with other industry campaigns, and the Future Aviation Group, a group of MPs from across the political spectrum that is supported by ABTA, the AOA, Airlines UK, and other bodies in the aviation sector, to raise awareness in parliament of the need for tailored support.
The group is looking to involve other interested travel trade bodies and associations, and any organisations that are interested in getting involved are invited to contact ABTA.