Travel is missing out on vital support as it falls between government departments, a leading union has warned, with its leader calling for the creation of a dedicated "minister for travel".
Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), made the call during a session on "The Future of the Travel Trade" at the ITT’s virtual conference on Thursday (30 September), moderated by TTG editor Sophie Griffiths.
“We need someone to champion the industry," said Cortes. "Everyone passes the buck. No-one is there to take responsibility. A dedicated minister is something we would back.
"I have raised it with the business secretary [Alok Sharma]. What we need is the government to step in and hold the industry’s hand so we can emerge stronger than before.”
Cortes added the travel trade had struggled to make its voice heard in government as it “falls between” the auspices of the Department for Transport and Department for Business.
Among several focuses, the TSSA also represents frontline agency staff – including a number of Tui employees. It previously represented Thomas Cook retail staff.
The union has backed the TTG-led #SaveTravel campaign, and urged the government to provide "bespoke" sector-specific support for travel, warning that the sector faces "total wipeout" without extra support.