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4.30pm: Thanks for joining us

With events winding down outside Westminster, we're going to wrap up our live coverage of today's Travel Day of Action for now.


Check back to over the coming days for more from the event – including, we hope, a response from the government to travel's pleas.


With the first formal review of the government's traffic light regime due on 28 June, it is feasible we could get an update on this within the next few days.


There is also expected to be some movement on the UK's green list over the coming days, as confirmed by MP John Whittingdale this morning.

4.15pm: 'Today, we stand together'

The safe reopening of travel is both possible – and needed, says Gold Medal MD Lisa McAuley.


4.13pm: Great occasion, shame about the circumstances

The team from Travel Matters sum up today's events about as well as any – great to see travel industry friends, colleagues and counterparts, but it's a shame it has to be in travel's darkest hour of need.




4.08pm: 'We need support now' – trade

Hundreds descended on Westminster for the lobby effort (Credit: Abta)
Hundreds descended on Westminster for the lobby effort (Credit: Abta)

It's just gone 4pm so here's a quick recap of a couple of the key takeaways from Travel Day of Action today:

  • A wide range of industry figures have made their pleas to government for a resumption of travel and greater sector-specific support for travel. Their message though is stark – travel needs support now.

  • Chair of parliament's transport committee, Huw Merriman MP, has been one of the sector's biggest advocates and supporters during the Covid crisis. He told TTG movement on travel would come, and urged the sector to keep up its campaigning efforts.

3.55pm: Travel leaders unite

A number of the travel leaders behind the Abta-led Save Future Travel coalition gather with MPs outside Westminster today for Travel Day of Action.




3.23pm: 'Travel needs tailored support'

Good to see another MP taking time to listen to travel's concerns. Here's Dr Ben Spencer with Mitzi at today's Travel Day of Action.


3.16pm: Boris Johnson leaves Parliament

The prime minister just left the Houses of Parliament as the trade made its voice heard





3.00pm: 'No holidays, no earnings'

A few shots of today's events in Westminster captured by Deben Travel boss Lee Hunt.




2.53pm: 'Today will make a significant difference'

Alistair Rowland, chairman of Abta, said Travel Day of Action was "long overdue."





2.40pm: 'Travel has been completely abandoned by govt' - MP Ben Bradshaw

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, who sits on the transport select committee, said the country is "incarcerated in Boris Johnson’s prison island."





2.30pm: Passionate cries to 'save travel'

Travel sector professionals continue to plead for a "safe return to travel" at Travel Day of Action.


Here's a taste of the atmosphere outside parliament today.





2.10pm: 'Companies will go bust and prices will rise'

Martyn Sumner, executive director of Aito
Martyn Sumner, executive director of Aito

Martyn Sumner, executive director of Aito, says "companies will go bust" if the government doesn't provide tailored support for the industry.


"It really shows the industry is united together and is really working hard to lobby the government.


“We're 18 months into tour operators and travel agents having had no income whatsoever. We are desperate for the government to realise that without travel, there is no income.


"These companies desperately need some sector specific support - the government needs to listen and to take account of what we really need and to try and deliver some of these funds.


"If they don't, we will see companies going bust, ending up with less choice for the consumer and higher prices."

2.00pm: Twitterstorm

At 2pm, the travel industry took part in a Twitterstorm, targeting prime minister Boris Johnson. Hundreds, if not thousands, sent the same tweet to Johnson at 2pm, calling for government action on travel.


Here is the tweet, as sent by TTG.




1.55pm: 'Reopen travel in a meaningful way'

Managing director of Sunvil Travel Chris Wright shares his thoughts on the Travel Day of Action.






1.40pm: 'My heart goes out to all of the people here' - IDS

Sir Ian Duncan Smith voiced his support for the travel industry.





1.37pm: 'We've had too many false dawns'

1.37pm: 'We've had too many false dawns'

John Bevan, dnata Travel Group divisional senior vice-president, has told TTG it is vital the government eases restrictions on travel as soon as possible.


“It’s inspiring to see so many of our industry colleagues speaking up for travel today – both in person and online," said Bevan.


"Although indications are that travel will restart in the near future, we’ve had too many false dawns in the last 15 months and we join calls being made today for the government to commit to and stick by a clear and robust plan for the permanent and safe reopening of travel.


"As is being said by many others today, this industry provides a livelihood for millions and generates billions in revenue – it simply cannot continue to be overlooked.

“Unfortunately, for what were many well-run travel businesses, the loosening in restrictions in the coming weeks could be too little too late.


"Getting our industry back on its feet is not an overnight job. It will take time. That’s why we’re adding our voice to those calling for sector-specific support as we navigate what will no doubt be a bumpy road to recovery.”



1.23pm: 'I'm optimistic govt will ease restrictions' – Merriman

Transport committee chair MP Huw Merriman says he is "optimistic" the government will ease travel restrictions for those with two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.




1.21pm: MPs turn out for travel

A number of MPs have attended today's Travel Day of Action to hear the industry's pleas. TTG editor Sophie Griffiths grabbed words earlier with transport committee chair, Huw Merriman MP, and former leader of the Conservative party Iain Duncan-Smith, while Aito chair Chris Rowles and director Noel Josephides collared Tom Tugendhat.




TTG CEO Dan Pearce also got hold of Steve Baker MP for a chat.




1.15pm: Why we need Travel Day of Action

Superbly put by Manchester airport. Travel has been locked down for 16 months and even with the magic bullet – vaccination – UK travellers are subject so considerably harsher measures than those in the Us and the EU.




1.13pm: 'We're here to stand with industry friends'

Great to see some of the travel sector's key partners out in support of the industry today.




12.54pm: 'We can't wait for support. We need it now.'

Stuart Swords from Swords Travel
Stuart Swords from Swords Travel

Stuart Swords from Swords Travel took to College Green to voice his concerns.


He said: "This is an amazing thing that everyone is doing to bring the travel industry together, to ask for support from our government. We can't wait for support, we need support now."




12.47pm: 'Let's get travel moving' – If Only

The team from Glasow-based operator If Only are out in force at Holyrood in Edinburgh this afternoon for Travel Day of Action.




12.44pm: 'Take travel seriously'

Jamie- Lee Abtar, a tourism marketing consultant, says she experienced "sleepless nights" and urged the government to "take the travel industry seriously."





12.41pm: 'Travel has been under house arrest'

Mike Batt, chair of Internova Travel Group, has some strong words for the government.


"The UK outbound travel industry has been on house arrest since March 2020, but enough is enough. We need action and answers now.


"The industry cannot remain in this oblivion for any longer as the consequences of delaying the reopening of UK travel would be severe and would have a worldwide ripple-effect across the entire travel eco-system.


“International travel must be a priority for the UK government. The US and much of Europe have been travelling freely for weeks, if not months, and many are about to enjoy even more freedoms with the introduction of restriction-free travel for the double-vaccinated.

“Government support should be commensurate with the scale of restrictions but the UK government, quite frankly, have fundamentally failed to deliver this. Travel businesses need clarity – and so do our customers.


"It is unacceptable to expect travellers to be at the behest of a Government who choose to lurch in and out of travel guidance at a moment’s notice."



12.33pm: Sector cries for support




12.22pm: Aito arrive at Westminster

Here are the team from Aito, the Association of Independent Tour Operators, and some of the association's members with their placards.




12.20pm: 'Govt hasn't listened' – Cleary

Caribtours MD Paul Cleary has his say on the government's stance on travel.




12.15pm: 'Travel is on its knees'...

...writes Travel Counsellor Andy La Gette for TTG on Travel Day of Action. But, as he rightly points out, the show must go on.


"If our leaders do not immediately fight our cause, the financial fallout will be catastrophic as holiday companies and airlines stagnate, and traditional corporate markets turn their attentions and business elsewhere.


"Undeniably, many destinations ought to now be green. We’re ready to restart travel on a wide scale.


"Even faced with new variants of concern, sensible testing and quarantine measures can allow resumption of freer travel to much of Europe, north America and island holiday destinations in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean.


"Come on, Boris, it’s time to get this done."


You can read Andy's full piece here.



12.03pm: 'We can't continue to be put on hold'

Brian Young managing director of G Adventures
Brian Young managing director of G Adventures

Brian Young, managing director of G Adventures, voiced his concern at the length of time the travel industry has been "at a standstill".


"It worries me that the traffic light system failed within the first three weeks of operating. We have to have a system that works, especially given the fact we have one of the best vaccination rollouts in the world," he added.


"Since restrictions have been lifted in Europe, business has boomed. The UK government needs to understand the industry and open up the traffic light system in a sensible and sustainable way. We cannot continue to be put on hold.”



11.59am: 'The UK is falling behind'

Some wise words from Exsus Travel head of trade sales Neil Sealy.




11.36am: TTG Live from Westminster



11.27am: 'To live is to travel'

The team at Isleworth-based operator Sunvil are taking three brightly coloured, dare we say, traffic light-esque signs to Westminster today with a few slogans that are bound to go down well.




11.25am: 'It's make or break' – Balpa

Brian Strutton, general secretary of pilots union Balpa, has said it is within the government's hands to decide whether this summer is the one that makes, or breaks, the UK travel industry.


"Pilots are meeting politicians across the UK today to urge them to put pressure on the government to act now and save not only the summer but the future of UK aviation and travel," said Strutton.


"With a robust and open approach to the data we should be able to use the science to open-up safe travel routes with the US and many European destinations, just as other European countries have done. This would give the travel industry and passengers a chance to make something the best of the summer and start to stem the decline."


Balpa's key demands include introducing a robust, science-based approach to reopening travel, extending the furlough scheme and providing travel businesses direct financial support.



11.03am: Travel descends on London

Hundreds of travel professionals from across the UK are heading to Westminster today to lobby government for a better deal for travel.





11.00am: A new blueprint for holidays?

11.00am: A new blueprint for holidays?

The national press was awash with an uncharacteristically positive array of headlines concerning travel this morning (23 June).


Fully vaccinated Britons could enjoy quarantine-free holidays from 19 July, The Daily Mail reports. Boris Johnson is being pressed by ministers to drop formal advice about not travelling to amber list countries. The Balearic islands will also be added to the green list.


Meanwhile, quarantine-free holidays to Greece and Italy could be a possibility for double jabbed holidaymakers, according to The Sun. Ministers will decide within the next 48 hours whether to open key destinations for those who have had both injections. Unvaccinated under-18s will also be able to travel (The Sun)


You can read our full In The Press Today round up of the headlines the country woke up to this morning here.



10.55am: Welcome

Good morning everyone, and welcome to TTG's live coverage from today's Travel Day of Action.


Our team will be stationed in and around College Green in Westminster today to bring you all the latest from the travel industry's mass lobbying effort.


We're expecting around 800 people across two two-hour sessions at 12.30pm and 2.30pm to make their presence felt at Westminster.


Another 200 people will be lobbying at Holyrood in Edinburgh and another 100 at Stormont in Belfast, while a virtual lobby is being held to get travel's message to the Welsh Assembly.


Keep checking back for live updates throughout the day on Travel Day of Action.

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