The Save Future Travel Coalition is urging travel companies to contact their local MPs highlighting the need for specific support to help the industry through the coronavirus crisis.
The group, made up of Abta, the Advantage Travel Partnership, Aito, Atas, The Business Travel Association, Clia, SBIT, the SPAA, and The Travel Network Group, is providing template letters for firms to use and personalise to tell their own story.
Letters call for a review of the Job Support Scheme, which the chancellor announced last week as a replacement for furlough from November, among its key asks and highlights the unique impact on the travel industry.
The template highlights how travel is a strategically important sector for the UK economy, supporting more than £60bn contribution to the economy and sustaining around one million jobs. It also makes the case that the industry underpins the UK’s world-leading aviation industry, keeping the UK connected internationally and domestically, with those travelling for leisure and business vital to the viability of many air routes.
The letter asks for the MP to write to the chancellor and transport secretary to urge them to consider the Save Future Travel Coalition’s plan to support travel businesses and protect jobs, which asks for:
- A fully regionalised quarantine policy
- Introduction of testing as an additional mitigation measure
- Recovery grants for SME businesses, and those left out of previous support
- Review of the Job Support Scheme
- APD relief for summer 2021 to boost demand
Letters are available to download from www.abta.com/savefuturetravel, along with a search tool to help you find the right contact details for your MP. Associations will also be making those directly available to their members and will be working together on other initiatives in the weeks ahead.
Luke Petherbridge, Abta’s director of public affairs, said: “MPs need to understand that travel is not only viable as a sector, but also invaluable to the economic recovery of the country – and it is critical that the government does all it can to help businesses and protect jobs.”
Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of The Advantage Travel Partnership, added: “There is no more powerful way to get that message across than for travel agents, operators, and those working in the industry, to tell your own personal stories about what is happening to you and your business – and it’s really important that everyone gets behind the campaign.”
Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA) president Joanne Dooey said: “We need MPs to realise that Scotland’s travel industry, as well as that across the UK, is hurting – and our connectivity domestically and internationally is at risk. We know that jobs and businesses are among MPs’ top concerns. They want to know is happening in their constituencies and the impact the pandemic is having on the people they represent. We’re encouraging SPAA members to get involved in spreading that message.”
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