An agent is urging others to lobby their local MP during Save Travel Week (17-21 August) after sitting down with her own Westminster representative last week.
Penny Gray, founder of Kent agency Gilchrist & Gray, persuaded former business secretary Greg Clark, MP for Tunbridge Wells, to meet with her to discuss the #SaveTravel campaign.
“I first sent a tweet then I emailed a copy of the #SaveTravel letter," said Gray. "He has an open surgery in Paddock Wood where I have my office. We had a really useful discussion.”
Gray showed him an infographic covering issues like pipeline monies that are causing issues for agents and in some cases, producing a lot of negative publicity.
“My main focus is to get people in parliament to really understand the issues the industry faces with things like pipeline monies,” she said, adding that she had also tackled the sector’s perilous situation as a whole.
“We need direct sector-specific support right now because furlough is coming to an end and there is no re-start to travel in sight.”
The MP said they would talk again once he had discussed the issue with colleagues when parliament returns on 2 September.
Gray said she had sent her MP videos from Kuoni chief Derek Jones highlighting the seriousness of the situation from his empty office and another from Sunvil boss Chris Wright calling for a dedicated minister for the sector.
She advised others to contact their MP, but stressed: “Emotions are running high, people are very worried about their livelihoods, so don’t be abusive or send angry messages."
She said TTG’s Save Travel Week campaign was a boost for the sector: “There’s no reason why it can’t end up as a global movement because the industry is facing the same issues worldwide.
"In my opinion it’s now best to focus on extended appropriate financial support for as long as travel can’t realistically restart – quarantine announcements are always going to be at short notice."