A letter from Abta to the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made seven demands to save jobs in the travel industry.

As the COVID-19 pandemic crisis deepens in Europe and across the world the sector has been one of the first and hardest hit as international travel has all but been shut down.

Abta, the UK’s leading trade association, is encouraging all of its travel agent and tour operator members to copy the demands and send them to their local MPs as a matter of urgency.

Download: Template letter to use

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Abta’s seven demands cover financial liquidity, temporary changes to the Package Travel Regulations, airline refunds, merchant acquirers, travel insurance business rates relief and Foreign Office advice.

Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “We have been urgently seeking government support for the industry this week to help us through this exceptionally challenging time, however we have yet to see progress on the key asks that we have made.  The situation is becoming increasingly critical for travel businesses.

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“Today I have written again to the Prime Minster to ask for urgent government intervention, particularly highlighting the need for cash injections and also to make immediate changes to the Package Travel Regulations to relax the regulations to ensure customer’s money is protected, while giving travel businesses more refund options.

“In our discussions with government ministers and officials, we have set out further more detailed asks and this afternoon I want to encourage all travel businesses, whatever shape or size, up and down the UK to get behind these asks and be as vocal as possible with your local MPs and other policy influencers or policymakers.

“The more businesses that politicians hear from with consistent asks, the more our voice will be heard.”

On Tuesday, all Britons were advised to avoid international travel for 30 days and airlines, including easyJet and Jet2, ground most of their fleets as hotels in Spain and other destinations closed.

A string of operators and agents including Tui, Hays Travel and Kuoni and most cruise lines have suspended operations and either laid people off, cut hours or put staff on unpaid leave.

On Monday, Abta warned that travel businesses employing tens of thousands of people could go bust unless the government gives urgent support to the sector.

Download: Template letter to use