Advantage Travel Partnership chief Julia Lo Bue-Said has called for the industry to “create as much noise as we can” following a meeting with transport secretary Grant Shapps.
Lo Bue-Said, who is one of Shapps’ constituents in Welwyn Hatfield, said the often criticised minister was “cognisant of the challenges facing the industry”.
“Grant Shapps made it clear that his end goal is to ensure international travel is reopened safely, but ultimately we are fighting a health crisis and we must remember that,” she added.
“The ongoing lobbying of MPs and continued media coverage has meant that the challenges we face as an industry have been brought to light.
“We saw yesterday with a group of 77 cross-party MPs, led by Henry Smith MP, calling on the chancellor to extend the furlough scheme for the aviation, travel and tourism industries – this hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. A year ago we would have never have seen 77 MPs stand up in support of our sector.”
Lo Bue-Said said the people in the industry had to “keep going” and continue writing to their local MPs to put more pressure on the government over issues such as extending furlough and other forms of financial support for travel.
“I understand that we all feel exhausted and stuck in a constant cycle of Groundhog Day, but we must keep going and creating as much noise as we can,” she said.
“There is strength in numbers, and the more MPs we have fighting our corner means Grant Shapps has a stronger and more compelling case to put forward to the other cabinet ministers.”