Abta has focused on “producing results rather than making a noise” through the Covid crisis and did not “take a stand against quarantine” because it was “the wrong thing to do”.
That is the view of Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer, who told Travel Weekly: “We work with the Foreign Office very closely.
“We know health guidance comes first for the government and for customers and taking a stand against quarantine per se would be the wrong thing to do.
“It would also be ineffectual, and that is what we’ve seen. Getting the government to move away from a blanket to a targeted quarantine has been more productive. “
Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast, Tanzer denied Abta had been cautious in its approach to the crisis.
He insisted: “In some ways we’ve been bold, taking a position on Refund Credit Notes when we were out on our own. It was the right thing to do for the industry and customers, but it was a bold thing to do.
“It would have been easy to go missing in action. We didn’t. We put ourselves at the front of that debate and we took a lot of criticism from for it.”
Tanzer said: “The work we’ve done on an operational level to support members and the public, initially with repatriation, then advice about destinations and now on recovery – all those are practical things. That is what Abta does.
“We’re focused on what will produce results rather than making a big noise.
“We’ve been engaged with the government in all sorts of ways. We’ve been engaged with the members and we’ve been talking to the public. No one could accuse Abta of going missing in action.”
He added: “The government doesn’t always do what we want. That is something you learn as a trade association.
“[But] the pressure we put on the government early on, saying we need a furlough scheme – it wasn’t just the travel industry – helped make the government put its hand in its pocket to support jobs. We’ll continue the dialogue and the pressure.”
Abta will be unveiling more of the headline speakers at its Travel Convention on October 14 in the coming days.
The Convention will be a full-day virtual event moderated by ITV News royal editor Chris Ship.
To register of for more information on the Travel Convention 2020 click here
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