ABTA launches Save Future Travel campaign and website as it asks industry to lobby government for immediate support.
ABTA is appealing to its Membership, the wider travel and tourism industry, all travel agents and tour operators, their families, and anyone who supports the industry and wants to ‘Save Future Travel’.
ABTA first called for urgent government intervention to support the travel industry and take action around refunds and other measures several weeks ago.
Since then, the Association has held discussions with, and written to, relevant government departments and the Prime Minister multiple times. Despite this, and the Government promise to ‘do whatever it takes’ to protect businesses and jobs, the travel industry is still waiting for action.
ABTA is now calling for widespread industry support to ‘Save Future Travel’ by asking individuals to visit savefuturetravel.co.uk and email their local MP to highlight industry asks.
The automated system is to be backed by a social media campaign under the #savefuturetravel hashtag. ABTA is urging supporters of the campaign to use social media to contact their local MPs and Government ministers.
To protect normally perfectly viable and healthy businesses, ABTA has asked the UK government to act, as administrations have already done in the likes of France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands and Denmark. These countries have proposed temporary changes to regulations that ABTA says are not fit for purpose in the current climate.
While holiday bookings have dried up, businesses are refunding the mass cancellations of future trips, while still awaiting refunds from airlines and hotels. Without support from the government a number of businesses will go under, putting hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk, ABTA added. Under this scenario, the taxpayer would be liable for billions of pounds of refunds that the ATOL scheme won’t be able to cover.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: “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.”
ABTA is asking its Membership, the wider travel and tourism industry, all travel agents and tour operators, their families, and anyone who supports the industry to:
1. Visit savefuturetravel.co.uk and send an electronic letter to MPs in support of the travel industry
2. Show support on social media with the following example posts:
I support @ABTAlovetravel’s call to @UKgovernment to do whatever it takes to protect travel industry jobs and customer money. I have emailed my local MP to help #SaveFutureTravel. Find out more at: savefuturetravel.co.uk #OneTravelIndustry
I support @ABTAtravel’s call to @GOVUK to do whatever it takes to protect travel industry jobs and customer money. I have emailed my local MP to help #SaveFutureTravel. Find out more at: savefuturetravel.co.uk #OneTravelIndustry