Senior travel leaders and trade bodies have rallied in support of TTG’s #SaveTravel campaign, with thousands signing TTG’s letter to chancellor Rishi Sunak and transport secretary Grant Shapps.
Since the campaign was launched at the end of July, and in the wake of the last-minute quarantine announcements that continue to devastate the sector, the letter has now attracted more than 10,000 signatures from across the industry.
Lisa McAuley, managing director of Gold Medal and Travel 2, said she signed the letter “because there are better solutions to the ones currently being imposed”. “Listen to us as the experts, work with us not against us – it’s not just livelihoods at stake," she said.
“The travel industry has always faced adversity and crisis, has always found a way to circumnavigate issues, and when required we collaborate more than most industries.
“Selling and fulfilling dreams is only part of who we are, we are natural problem solvers. As such, our call to government is, ’let us help you to help us’.”
Derek Jones, chief executive of Kuoni parent Der Touristik UK, warned: “The travel industry is being torn apart by the coronavirus pandemic. We urgently need support from the government; without it, tens of thousands of jobs will be lost.”
Pledging her support for the campaign, Jo Rzymowska, vice-president and managing director EMEA for Celebrity Cruises, highlighted how “the government needs to consider the impact of its ill-thought through actions on the British public and on the UK outbound travel industry”.
“It is clear they have little understanding or regard for the economic impact their actions are having on the long-term future of the industry,” she added.
Meanwhile, a number of associations, including Abta, have backed the campaign, with chief executive Mark Tanzer urging members “to also lend their names to #SaveTravel”.
Clive Wratten, chief executive of the Business Travel Association, also said he was supporting the campaign.
“The government is failing to recognise the travel sector as a hugely valuable contributor to the UK economy and, by doing that, is also failing to recognise the social and economic impact on thousands of people employed within this sector. The industry must be heard, consulted with and shown some respect.”
Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of the Advantage Travel Partnership, pointed out the “industry is at breaking point and without specific sector support from government many businesses will not see it through the next few months, causing millions of pounds of economic downturn leading to many thousands of redundancies”.
Colin Pegler, chairman of the CTO’s UK and Europe chapter, added: “The travel industry, so used to dealing with challenging crises, has been innovative and incredibly flexible during this period, while looking after customers and retaining jobs.
“We urgently need the government to recognise the unique nature of the travel business and support the work the industry is doing to ensure that these cherished travel companies survive and people can book their much-needed holidays with confidence.”
Leaders from across the industry came together as part of a steering group hosted by TTG to explore how best to amplify the #SaveTravel campaign and encourage government to take notice of the worrying plight of the industry.