ABTA 7 April

ABTA urges travel agents to contact MPs in #SaveFutureTravel campaign

As part of a call for industry-wide action to support the travel industry, ABTA is urging all travel agents, as well as tour operators and members and supporters of the wider travel and tourism industry to back their #SaveFutureTravel campaign.

Today, www.savefuturetravel.co.uk goes live with the aim of making it easy for travel professionals to email their local MP and highlight ABTA's "industry asks". ABTA first called for UK government intervention to support the travel industry, take urgent action on refunds and deliver on its promise to "do whatever it takes" to protect travel industry jobs and customer money. The association has held discussions with relevant government departments and leaders, but is still waiting for action similar to that already taken by the governments of France, Italy, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands and Denmark, where they have proposed temporary changes to existing regulations which ABTA described as "not fit for purpose in this current climate".

In a statement, ABTA said: "Without support from the Government the reality is that businesses will go under, hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk, and the taxpayer would be liable for billions of pounds of refunds that the ATOL scheme won’t be able to cover ... The UK travel industry employs more than 500,000 people directly and indirectly across the country and this devastating crisis has brought it to its knees. Holiday bookings have dried up, while businesses are refunding the mass cancellations of future trips, while still awaiting refunds from airlines and hotels."

As well as using the Save Future Travell website to contact MPs, ABTA is urging the travel industry to show support on social media with the #SaveFutureTravel and #OneTravelIndustry hashtags.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, says, “ABTA has been doing all it can on behalf of the industry to make it clear to Government the devastating impact this crisis is having and to provide workable solutions to help them to do what it takes to support us.  We now need additional help from colleagues, friends and supporters to make our industry voice as loud as possible. The time has come for the industry and anyone who loves to travel to get behind our campaign to ‘Save Future Travel’. The Chancellor promised UK businesses that he would do “whatever it takes” to help the country get through this pandemic, and we need the Government to act ... This crisis has created extraordinary difficulties for everyone, in ways that none of us could ever have predicted. Many sectors have been hit hard but few have been hit as hard as travel. The changes that we have asked for are reasonable, as has been shown by other governments taking similar action.”

Image credit: CC0 Communit

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