Next week the country will head to the polls for the first winter election since 1923.
It might have been dubbed the Brexit election, but as TTG examines this week, there are issues other than the B word (airport expansion, climate change, APD) that need to be addressed by the next government – ones that could have severe implications for the travel industry (p14-17).
Take tackling the climate crisis... The Lib Dems have vowed to transform APD into a costly green tax and place a temporary ban on any new runways in the UK.
Labour says it would create strict criteria that airports would have to meet (which, incidentally, Heathrow currently does not).
While the Tories have promised to use new aviation technology to reduce pollution, although also seem to be in support of Heathrow’s third runway.
(Boris Johnson also once vowed to “lie down in front of the bulldozers” to stop Heathrow expansion – so given his relationship with the truth, it’s unclear what Tory policy would be in reality).
On tourism itself, the Lib Dems are most vocal, insisting they would create a dedicated tourism minister – something the industry has been missing since 2012.
Both Labour and the Conservatives have little to say on the matter. The smaller parties’ manifestos are also worth a read – if not just for Nigel Farage’s grand plans to boost tourism by investing £2.5 billion in fishing (yes, really) (p17).
Whichever party (or parties) form the next government, Brexit will continue to dominate/waste (delete as appropriate) Westminster’s time.
But these manifestos at least give an indication of where politicians’ priorities will lie if the UK does finally go through the painful process of exiting the EU.
There will be an inclination to vote heart over head in this election.
It’s worth remembering just how many other issues are at stake that risk travel being left out in the cold.