Nine travel associations covering a broad range of operations across the world have come together to form the Travel Industry Alliance (TIA).
The alliance represents more than 7,000 member companies throughout travel, tourism and aviation, across both the inbound and outbound, as well as leisure and business.
Its key aims will be to engage with government on key issues affecting travel and tourism, and to encourage greater industry-wide collaboration.
Members include Aito (the Specialist Travel Association), Atta (the African Travel and Tourism Association), Bar UK (the board of UK Airline Representatives), the BTA (the Business Travel Association), Clia (Cruise Lines International Association), the CTO (the Caribbean Tourism Organisation UK and Europe chapter), Lata (the Latin American Travel Association), Pata (the Pacific Asia Travel Association UK and Ireland chapter), and UKinbound.
The alliance has two initial and immediate objectives focusing on safely restarting travel, pledging to work with and/or alongside government to:
The TIA will be surveying its combined 7,000 member companies shortly to gather data to reinforce its work.
It also plans to join the government’s Future of Aviation All-Party Parliamentary Group, chaired by Gatwick MP Henry Smith.
Danny Callaghan, TIA co-chair and chief executive of Lata, said: "Trade and consumers need to make informed decisions about where they can go rather than being effectively banned.
"The current FCDO advice is rather moot in most cases anyway because countries with Covid-19 problems will close their borders, making destination availability almost self-regulating.
"As an industry, we safely manage travel for millions of customers every year and, while Covid-19 poses slightly different challenges, the principles are the same, and if we are allowed to safely restart, that mitigates the need for financial support and actually see us starting to contribute back to the Treasury."
Derek Moore, TIA co-chair and deputy chair of Aito, added: "We know any sort of quarantine on arrival will render inbound tourism impossible, which also impacts on outbound tourism due to reduced demand for flights, as well as harming the UK’s hospitality and retail sectors."
Chris Crampton, chair of Pata UK and Ireland, said: "Travel has had a very tough year, and as we hope for the vaccination programme to be a success, it’s important that we plan a route out of this and a return to normality.
"This is just as much about supporting the UK travel industry as it is about seeing an increase in outbound travel to our region and supporting all the stakeholders in-destination who rely heavily on tourism.
"Our colleagues in the eight fellow trade organisations that form the TIA face the same challenges that we do, and by combining our resources and efforts, we are proud to be part of this alliance that we hope assists in creating the conditions where all elements of the travel and tourism industry can thrive again in the future."