Abta has renewed its call for travel sector firms and professionals to lobby their MPs for sector-specific support for the industry as it heads into winter facing the biggest crisis in its history.
The association’s Save Future Travel coalition has urged the industry to challenge MPs on the government’s new winter economy plan, and seek a review of the job support scheme – which replaces furlough from the start of November.
It has created a template letter for agents and operators to send to their local representatives, encouraging them to tell their story of the pandemic.
The letter also highlights how travel is a strategically important sector for the UK economy, supporting more than a £60 billion contribution to the economy and sustaining around a million jobs.
Other points include its role underpinning the UK’s aviation sector, and in providing domestic and international connectivity for leisure and business travel.
MPs are asked to forward correspondents’ concerns to chancellor Rishi Sunak and transport secretary Grant Shapps.
The coalition is calling for: a fully regionalised quarantine policy; introduction of testing as an additional mitigation measure; recovery grants for SMEs and those excluded from previous support; a review of the job support scheme; and APD relief for summer 2021 to boost demand.
Abta’s demands echo some of those of the TTG-led #SaveTravel campaign, which last month delivered a letter signed by more than 11,000 people to the Treasury and Department for Transport.
Abta director of public affairs, Luke Petherbridge, said: “MPs need to understand that travel is not only viable as a sector, but also invaluable to the economic recovery of the country – and it is critical that the government does all it can to help businesses and protect jobs."