Trade bodies from across the travel sector have announced plans for a travel industry day of action on 23 June to put pressure on the UK government to support a safe return to international travel in time for the peak summer period.
The initiative is supported by ABTA, Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association, BAR UK, UKinbound, the Business Travel Association, Advantage Travel Partnership, TTNG, and the other 11 Members of the Save Future Travel Coalition. Other industry organisations are also welcome to join.
The day of action – #traveldayofaction – will be calling on the UK government to:
- Allow international travel to return safely and in a risk managed way by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan
- Bring forward a package of tailored financial support to recognise that the unlocking of international travel, and hence businesses’ ability to trade and generate income, will be much slower than first anticipated, and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy
The event will involve an organised lobby at the Houses of Parliament – which would see Members of Parliament meet with a large number of their constituents at Westminster on a single day.
The day of action will take place on 23 June, just ahead of when the government is expected to discuss and decide on the next steps for international travel, with an announcement currently scheduled for 28 June.
At this review, the government will be reviewing both the traffic light list and the requirements, measures and systems in place for international travel. Activities will start from 12.30pm on 23 June, allowing people time to travel down for the day.
Plans are also being developed for events across other parts of the UK, targeted at the devolved administrations.
ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “These next weeks will be critical for the travel industry. We have been working together since the start of the pandemic to make the sector’s case on what the industry needs to get through this crisis and return safely to international travel.
“We’re in a situation where the government is curtailing overseas travel but isn’t providing tailored support for the travel industry. The longer this goes on the more jobs, livelihoods and businesses are at risk.”
Advantage Travel Partnership CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said said: “We all need to be pulling together towards this one single date, so it has the greatest media and political impact. It is imperative the industry speaks with one clear voice to demand action from the government urgently on the safe recovery of travel and tourism.
Not only are we trailing behind other countries on opening up travel, we are trailing behind every other British industry which has had the benefit of conforming to the domestic road map outlined by the government. This is tantamount to woeful neglect and we as industry intend to redress the balance and get government to back us as we strive to save jobs and businesses.”
The Travel Network Group CEO Gary Lewis said: “We urge our members and the wider outbound travel industry to get behind the day of action on 23 June. The march on Westminster is in response to the shocking, illogical announcement from the government which effectively cancelled travel for the foreseeable future and went against the expectations set in the Global Travel Taskforce report.
“Until people can travel freely, and the travel industry is able to get back on its feet, we need the government to provide direct financial sector-specific support which we have been calling for since summer 2020.
“Our industry employs over 221,000 people and contributes £37.1 billion to the economy but our calls for support and clarity have not been met. We hope that the government takes notice of the day of action and acts on the industry’s demands before further damage is done.”
More information about the day and how to get involved will be published on www.abta.com/traveldayofaction.