ABTA chief urges Starmer to take urgent action to help airlines achieve net zero

Mark Tanzer calls on Starmer
By Linsey McNeill
05/07/2024
Home » ABTA chief urges Starmer to take urgent action to help airlines achieve net zero

ABTA Chief Mark Tanzer said the travel association will be contacting newly appointed Ministers ‘over the coming days’ following Labour’s landslide victory in yesterday’s General Election.

He said ABTA had already ‘put in a lot of work with parliamentary candidates across the political spectrum’ which meant, said Mark, it can ‘hit the ground running in engaging them in the issues that matter to our members and the wider industry’.

“We’ll be contacting newly appointed ministers over the coming days to remind them of the huge value of the outbound travel industry to the UK economy – contributing £49bn a year and supporting 843,000 jobs, and to raise our policy priorities within their direct portfolios,” he said.

“One thing we will be stressing is the need for urgent action to help the industry achieve its sustainability goals – particularly with regards to aviation. There is a plan for aviation to reach net zero but it can’t be achieved without Government support and action, and time is of the essence on this issue.  

“It’s also important that policy changes are delivered in a way that protects the vast benefits that travel and tourism brings, both here at home and in communities around the world.”

He said ABTA will also remind the new Labour Government, led by Sir Keir Starmer, of the ongoing challenges facing travel businesses, including the squeeze on consumer spending and repayment of COVID loans.

Mark said ABTA would also repeat its call for a youth mobility deal with the EU and for business rates reform to incentivise high street trading.

“In the early months of this new Parliament and Government, ABTA will be actively engaging MPs and ministers on a wide range of policies, as outlined in our Manifesto for Travel and Tourism,” added Mark.

“We’ll also be speaking with members to encourage businesses to get involved with our efforts. Watch this space for more on activities the industry can get behind in the coming weeks.”

Advantage Travel CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said said the election result was ‘an opportunity for the new Government to recognise the benefits and impact of the outbound travel sector more than it has been previously recognised’. 

“As a group we will now continue with the success of our UK MP Engagement Program, inviting local MPs visiting our members up and down the country, and engaging with the Labour Government on behalf of the outbound travel sector and our combined members,” she added.

The UK Outbound Group, led by Advantage, AITO and ABTOT will host an industry-wide meeting to discuss the sector’s political engagement strategy post-election in London on 16 September.

Scottish Passsenger Agents’ Association President Jacqueline Dobson said: “We look forward to working with the new intake of MPs to ensure that the travel and tourism sector in Scotland receives the recognition and support it deserves.

“Travel and tourism are vital to our nation’s prosperity and well-being, and we need a collaborative approach from both Scottish and UK Governments to create a solid base for a sustainable future.

“Our manifesto for travel outlines the key issues and opportunities for our industry,and we urge the new MPs to engage with us and our members to understand and act on them.

“We won’t just be watching…we’ll be actively approaching MPs to bring the Voice of Travel to you.”

Not Just Travel co-founder Steve Witt said now that there is a clear election result, he expects ‘strong sales to continue, with a post-election boost’.

“We are looking forward to a period of long-term clarity which provides consumers with confidence to move ahead and feel comfortable in spending on their favourite purchases – holidays.”  

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