MPs sign up to find out more about their local travel businesses

Advantage Travel Partnership AITO MPs visit local travel businesses
By Lisa James
31/07/2023
Home » MPs sign up to find out more about their local travel businesses

More than 30 MPs have agreed to visit a local travel business in their constituency after The Advantage Travel Partnership and AITO, The Specialist Travel Association invited them to find out more about the industry.

Advantage and AITO sent out more than 330 invitations in total. Three visits have already taken place and at least 30 more MPs have accepted invites to visit a local travel company in the next two months.

The invites were sent out to coincide with National Travel Agents’ Day in July and the initiative is a central part of The UK Outbound Travel Think Tank, which Advantage and AITO launched in October 2022.

MPs who have already visited travel companies in their constituencies include Doncaster Central MP Dame Rosie Winterton (pictured, top left) and Newcastle upon Tyne Central MP and Shadow Minister for Science, Research & Innovation Chi Onwurah (pictured, right) – who both visited Dawson & Sanderson branches – and Pendle MP Andrew Stevenson (pictured, bottom left), who visited Althams Travel in Clitheroe.

Dame Rosie said: “Travel agencies are an asset to our city and play a big part in getting people into the city centre and the knock-on effect that has on other shops.”

Advantage CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said said she was ‘delighted’ with the response from MPs, saying those that have already visited local businesses had found them beneficial.

“Many of the MPs we have spoken to were not aware of their local travel businesses, nor have they had the opportunity to meet them in the past,” Julia said.

“We are therefore really pleased with the level of engagement we have secured through the launch of this programme so far, and will be ensuring that we maximise the number of MP visits to our travel businesses over the coming months.

“By illustrating to MPs how outbound travel businesses are central pillars of their local business communities, we are building a strong caucus of supporters in Parliament.

“This should strengthen considerably our case for the industry to receive better Ministerial representation, while also reminding those in power what a massive economic contribution the travel sector delivers to UK PLC and to the overall economy.”

AITO Director Noel Josephides said: “The travel sector has not only saved the UK from recession, according to the Office for National Statistics, but we are also responsible for creating a massive surge in consumer retail spend prior to going on holiday. 

“Jointly, the outbound travel sector drives consumer pre-holiday spend to the value of £51 billion in terms of hairdressing, beauty treatments, new clothes, exercise classes, essentials from the chemist such as suntan cream and much, much more.

“It is our joint responsibility to ensure that every MP across the land – many of whom are, of course, Ministers of State – knows just how important the whole travel industry is – not just airlines! – and that they recognise how little assistance they have provided us with in the past. 

“The time has come for them to rate the travel industry as hugely important in terms of economic delivery to the country. 

“We need to shout it from the rooftops – and the briefing documents provided by AITO and The Advantage Travel Partnership enable every one of us to do this with confidence.”

Meanwhile, Julia said more key travel brands have expressed an interest in joining the Think Tank collaboration.

She said: “Our efforts to get more industry players involved with our activity is on-going. 

“We are in the process of having positive conversations with a number of key travel brands and associations and are keen for others to join our Think Tank collaboration so that we can make further – and faster – progress.”

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