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TTNG joins campaign to lobby government on Package Travel Regulations

The Travel Network Group's (TTNG) CEO, Gary Lewis has lobbed Alok Sharma, secretary of state for business, to support the travel industry's push to amend the Package Travel Regulations (PTR) in light of the impact of COVID-19.

TTNG has been supporting ABTA and CAA in their conversations with the UK government on PTR amendments, with ABTA today launching the #SaveFutureTravel campaign which aims to make it easier for members of the travel industry and their supporters to write to the MPs.

"Whilst we welcomed the government’s quick response to support businesses, we call for immediate action on PTRs," Mr Lewis said. "We have been in constant communication with ABTA and the CAA, offering the Secretary of State for BEIS a consolidated and evidenced view on how this situation is impacting travel businesses across our membership and the industry at large. A decision from the government should be imminent, in order to avoid businesses collapsing in the short term."

"For the past three to four weeks, our main priority and focus has been on supporting our members, by giving them access to different tools, to help their businesses, and supporting them in their conversations with their teams and their customers. In anticipation of a government decision on PTRs, we have given our Members access to template letters that they could send to their local MPs, to plead for our cause, support scripts on how to have the refund conversations with their customers, as well as a legal statement to defend chargebacks with merchant acquirers," he added.

As well as lobbying the government on PTR amendments, Mr Lewis said TTNG has launched an initiative to help its member travel businesses which are inundated with customer requests in regard to altering or cancelling travel plans.

"To take some of that pressure off our Members, we have recently launched an initiative whereby members are sending us details of their customers’ travel insurance policies and we will carry out the research on their behalf, so as to understand if their customers can claim from their travel insurance, under the cancellation cover," Mr Lewis said. "More than 60 members have already taken this onboard and the support team is busy checking all policies’ terms & conditions."

Lewis said that concerned customers were calling in daily to check if their travel agents were members of the group, particularly the Travel Trust Association, a membership proposition, offering 100% financial protection to customers through the trust accounts model.

"What we have seen since the outbreak of this pandemic is that every part of that trust account model is tested through the current crisis and it is working as it was designed to do," he said.


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