Agents urged to step up pressure on local candidates ahead of election

By Lisa James
23/05/2024
Home » Agents urged to step up pressure on local candidates ahead of election

ABTA is encouraging agents to engage with their local candidates to ensure the voice of the travel industry is heard in the six weeks to the General Election.

Following the announcement that polling day will be on 4 July, Chief Executive Mark Tanzer said: “The announcement of the General Election means now is the time to engage with candidates locally to make sure they recognise the value of travel and tourism, and the importance of our industry in terms of both the economic and employment contribution we bring to communities across the country.

“We know the next Parliament will make critical decisions that will shape the future of our industry – including on investments in the development of domestic sustainable aviation fuels industry, setting the rules for aviation and cruise around emissions, reforming education provision, and addressing our future relationship with the European Union.

“While ABTA will be directly engaging and contacting all candidates across the country to share our own data and evidence on the importance of travel, the voice of local businesses is especially important to local candidates and I would urge everyone in the industry to speak up and have their voices heard.”

Last year, Advantage Travel Partnership and AITO launched a programme to encourage MPs to visit their local agents so they could find out more about the industry.

Advantage CEO Julie Lo Bue-Said said 50 MPs have so far visited agencies when she gave an update at the Advantage conference in Cancun last week.

She told delegates: “Many of these MPs weren’t presented with the opportunity to engage with their local travel businesses, leaving them unaware of the sector’s challenges.

“This lack of awareness hindered their ability to provide much-needed support during the COVID-19 crisis.”

Julia added: “Over the last 12 months I have had the opportunity of meeting a good number of ministers, MPs and policy makers. And the feedback is consistent – they continue not to recognise the various touch points that make up the UK Outbound Travel Sector or the considerable contribution the sector makes to the UK economy. They do not understand the nature of our ecosystem and unlike other economic sectors, there is not one organisation that speaks with the voice of authority for our industry.”

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