Abta’s Save Future Travel petition, which is calling for wide-ranging sector-specific support for travel, has hit 10,000 signatures in just three days.
Hitting the 10,000 mark on the official parliament petitions portal means the government is now obliged to issue a formal response to Abta’s concerns.
The Save Future Travel coalition is calling for a fully regionalised quarantine regime; the introduction of testing to help restore safe international travel and to reduce the current 14-day self-isolation requirement upon return to the UK from many destinations; and a review of the government’s new Job Support Scheme, which will replace furlough from the start of November.
Its other demands include new grants for SMEs, and additional help for businesses that didn’t previously qualify for support, and relief from Air Passenger Duty through to the end of summer 2021 to stimulate holiday demand.
"Measures to control Covid-19 have dented confidence in travel and delayed recovery," said Luke Petherbridge, Abta’s director of public affairs who started the petition.
"However, while many travel businesses remain viable, the Winter Economy Plan does not do enough to support businesses or save jobs.
"The UK’s travel industry is world-leading - in ordinary times, supporting more than 100 million trips annually (inbound and outbound), with an economic contribution of more than £60 billion, and employing close to one million people.
"The government must act to restart travel and provide tailored support."
You can view and sign Abta’s petition here.
It comes after the TTG-led #SaveTravel campaign’s letter to transport secretary Grant Shapps and chancellor Rishi Sunak gained more than 11,000 signatures.
The letter was handed over to the Department for Transport and Treasury at the start of September when parliament returned from its summer recess.
The government on Wednesday (7 October) announced the creation of a new Global Travel Taskforce which will look at how to use testing to cut the current 14-day self-isolation requirement upon return to the UK, and assess what additional support the sector needs.