Abta has urged agents and other travel industry stakeholders to keep up the pressure on their local MPs ahead of a second parliamentary debate next month on the challenges facing the sector.
More than 100,000 people signed an Abta petition sparking a debate, held on Monday (24 May), focusing on the level of support the government has provided travel during the Covid crisis.
Several MPs raised the plight of agents during the debate, and showed a nuanced understanding of the issues that their agent constituents and other travel businesses have had to deal with over the past 15 months.
During the debate, Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher highlighted agents’ cash flow issues, as well as their inability to fully utilise the furlough scheme and, in some cases, access government grant support.
He said agents had been "disproportionately impacted" by the crisis, and spoke of his discussions with two travel businesses in his constituency – Ideal Travel and Small World Travel.
Henry Smith, MP for Crawley and chair of the Future of Aviation all-party parliamentary group, will now host a follow-up debate on 10 June focusing on support for aviation, travel and tourism.
Abta has responded by creating updated campaign materials and resources agents and operators can use to lobby their local MPs; these include a template email, briefing note and infographic on the lifecycle of travel bookings.
The resources are available from Abta’s Save Future Travel microsite.