Leading travel figures met via video conference on Wednesday (2 September) to hammer out a plan to make sector-specific support for travel a key focus of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s autumn budget.
Abta, the Advantage Travel Partnership, Aito, Atas, the Business Travel Association (BTA), Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association and UKinbound discussed a range of shared objectives, which included regionalised quarantine, airport testing, and ongoing salary and grant support schemes.
The Abta-led coalition resolved to increase coordination ahead of the budget through regular meetings, and through joint activities to raise awareness of the travel sector’s plight.
Abta believes 39,000 travel jobs have already been lost, or placed at risk, with more than three-quarters of companies yet to launch what is expected to be a flurry of redundancy consultations.
"The entire travel industry is going through a period of uncertainty and challenge like it has never seen before," said Abta’s director of public affairs Luke Petherbridge.
"It is our job as travel associations to make the case for our industry. We must come together to highlight the vital strategic importance of travel for the wider UK economy, as businesses that underpin the country’s aviation connectivity, and support inward investment and export earnings.
“Alongside championing the importance of the sector, we must also offer ministers practical and workable solutions to problems facing the leisure and business travel sectors."