Gatwick MP Henry Smith will lead a fresh House of Commons debate on Thursday (10 April) on the challenges that continue to blight the travel industry, some 16 months into the Covid crisis.
The debate is expected to take place in the House’s morning sitting, and is billed as a general debate on the "aviation, travel and tourism industries".
It follows on from a Commons debate last month focusing specifically on government support for the travel trade, which saw a number of MPs come forward to advocate on behalf of agents in their constituencies.
However, health and social care minister Jo Churchill said the industry had received support from the Treasury and other government interventions.
The May debate was held during a period of relative optimism for travel following the resumption of international travel on 17 May and the publication of the government’s first green list, with Portugal offering immediate and viable holiday prospects.
Thursday’s debate, though, will be held following a series of setbacks for the industry, which has created a very different trading climate for agents and the broader travel sector following Portugal’s relegation to the UK government’s amber list.
Agents, led by the Target campaign group, had been planning a protest at Westminster to coincide with the debate, but travel has instead rallied behind a full day "day of action" on 23 June.
Abta, over several weeks, has been urging agents to contact their local MPs in the hope they will bring their troubles to the attention of the house on Thursday.
It has provided a wide range of campaigning materials, including a template letter and infographic, which are available from its Save Future Travel microsite.
The association is continuing to call for tailored support for the travel industry with there still being no immediate prospect of a wholesale resumption of international travel, and with many agents – whose income relies on commission – having scarcely made any money since last March.