Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer has written to chancellor Rishi Sunak asking for “ongoing government support” for the travel sector.
Sunak is expected to make a summer fiscal statement next week outlining the Treasury’s next steps in leading the UK out of the coronavirus crisis.
Tanzer said the letter “argues that the travel sector needs ongoing financial support, particularly in the area of salary support” as the furlough scheme is due to finish at the end of October.
“The travel sector was the first into this crisis and may be one of the last sectors to come out of it,” added Tanzer.
“We’re looking for ongoing government support not just in terms of salaries but in terms of business rates relief, a reduction in VAT and also a suspension of Air Passenger Duty (APD) for this year, so we can get people back up and travelling.”
Tanzer welcomed the government’s lifting of quarantine restrictions on some countries, as well as the easing of FCO advice against all non-essential travel to many destinations.
“That will come as a huge relief to the travel industry and also to many customers who are looking forward to a summer holiday after many weeks being locked up in their homes,” he added.
“We hope we will have glimmerings of a summer season. We have to build up consumer confidence through giving very good quality advice.
“It’s a positive step but - by no means - are we out of the woods yet. We know from news of redundancies and companies going into administration that it’s very challenging times.”