GTMC: Business travel agents not asked to join Fair Tax on Flying campaign

GTMC: Business travel agents not asked to join Fair Tax on Flying campaign

The UK’s leading travel management companies remain outside the industry-wide Fair Tax on Flying coalition that is lobbying the government on air passenger duty (APD) because their association, the GTMC, was not asked to join.

The GTMC (Guild of Travel Management Companies) continues to lobby MPs separately on the damaging impact of the tax.

It shares most of the aims of the Fair Tax on Flying group, set up ahead of the Budget under the leadership of Abta - a coalition that includes all the leading UK airlines bar easyJet, the major airport operators, leisure groups Tui Travel and Thomas Cook, the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR UK) and other industry associations.

Asked why the GTMC was not a member, chief executive Anne Godfrey said: “We were not asked to join.”

Godfrey added:  “We are working with Abta on a series of issues.”

However, she conceded: “We would have found it difficult [if asked to join] – because not all our members have the same approach on APD.”

Godfrey told the GTMC conference in Abu Dhabi: “MPs want to talk to the GTMC. We no longer have to spend time explaining that we are not Abta.”

She said data from the GTMC’s quarterly survey of members’ transactions and from an annual survey of business travelers had proved vital in winning a hearing from politicians – especially among the “A-listers” in the new generation of Conservative Party MPs.

GTMC lobbyist Gareth Morgan, who works for political affairs consultancy Cavendish, said: “The vast majority of the 244 new MPs in this Parliament are Tories – they make up about half the parliamentary Tory Party – and a proportion are what I call ‘A-listers’.

“They have successful careers outside Parliament. They are ex-business people, entrepreneurs, selected for their talent and seen as future ministers. It is important we feed them information.”

The Fair Tax on Flying coalition is preparing a second phase of lobbying and intends to broaden its campaign to consumers.

More from the CTMC Conference

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