Abta took its message to Parliament yesterday with a Westminster reception for MPs and Lords to launch its manifesto for growth and jobs in travel and tourism.
The Abta manifesto, headlined Valuing the UK’s Tourism Mix, calls for government action in four areas to boost domestic, outbound and inbound travel.
It argues: “The success of the industry and its ability to foster growth and create jobs is reliant on government policy.”
The association has identified four priority areas for government: support for infrastructure, action to ensure UK travel and tourism is competitive on costs, ‘good’ regulation and promotion of the sector as an employer.
The manifesto lists a series of demands in each area. On infrastructure, for example, it argues: “Constrained capacity at UK airports is damaging the UK’s competitiveness and limiting capacity to generate jobs.”
To improve competitiveness, Abta demands ministers review the impact of Air Passenger Duty (APD), ensure “adequate numbers of staff at border controls”, “review VAT on leisure and hospitality services” and “simplify the visa process”.
Abta also calls on the government to increase consumer protection against airline insolvency, overhaul the passport process and ease the purchase of travel insurance.
It demands support for smaller businesses and investment in training, pointing out 44% of the tourism and hospitality workforce is under 30.
Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “All three sectors – inbound, outbound and domestic – contribute positively to the economy.
“They are interconnected and interdependent, with shared infrastructure, shared products and a shared consumer base.
“The government has a responsibility to support all sectors if UK tourism is to employ more people, pay more taxes on profits and contribute more to the wider economic recovery.”
More than 30 MPs attended the reception.
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