MPs, it seems, are like buses. Since May, TTG has been pushing for interviews with ministers relevant to travel and – finally – we manage to secure not one, but three government figures to join our Agenda 2021 conference (7-8 Dec).
Central to TTG’s questioning of the MPs is how they have (or perhaps more aptly, haven’t) been supporting the industry over the last eight months.
According to tourism minister Nigel Huddleston “there’s been massive amounts of support... never has the voice of tourism and travel been stronger”.
But as TTG diplomatically pointed out, from travel’s standpoint, never has the government been more deaf to the wider industry’s pleas.
Another teaser from @TTGMedia's interview with the tourism minister. Time and again he insisted: "Never has the voice of tourism and tourism been stronger". Time and again I asked if that was the case, why did it take 7 months to create the Global Travel Taskforce? #TTGAgenda2021 pic.twitter.com/ShJeKKoQQ2— Sophie Griffiths (@TTGTravelQueen) December 7, 2020
Thankfully, while there might not be much positivity coming out of Westminster, there are plenty of other reasons for festive cheer as we head into the new year.
The latest TTG Travel Agent Tracker saw the number of respondents taking zero bookings during the week to 27 November fall to its lowest rate since late October.
And while agents warn it’s too early to say if the Covid-19 vaccine news has yet made a notable difference, they have reported an increase in enquiries, suggesting consumer appetite for travel is very much alive.
If so, it will be some welcome relief to a horrific year. As the saying goes, though, “out of bad comes good”, and there are some critical lessons to be learned from this annus horribilis to ensure the industry “builds back better”.
Until then, here’s to a strong peaks, a Merry Christmas and a much happier 2021.
Readers have the chance to grill aviation and maritime minister Robert Courts and chair of the transport select committee Huw Merriman in a live Q&A at Agenda 2021 (7-8 Dec).
To find out more and how to register, visit ttgmedia.com/agenda-2021