PM Rishi Sunak must recognise travel industry as ‘vulnerable’

By Linsey McNeill
Home » PM Rishi Sunak must recognise travel industry as ‘vulnerable’

ABTA has called on the new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to recognise travel as one of the industry sectors deemed vulnerable when short-term fuel support measures end.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said the Government needs to understand ‘the delicate position the travel industry is in’.

He said: “As Rishi Sunak takes up the job as the UK’s third Prime Minister this year, what businesses and consumers now need is stability, clarity, and confidence that we are set on a path to economic recovery.

“We also need the Government to understand the delicate position the travel industry is in and the support needed. We’ve had a decent summer of trading, but that is on the back of two years of no travel during the pandemic, and consumer budgets are now feeling the squeeze of the rising cost of living.

“Throughout the pandemic, and in the first leadership race, we have been making Mr Sunak aware of the challenges faced by our industry.

“We’ve also stressed the opportunity a thriving outbound travel sector offers the UK in terms of economic growth. Our latest forecasts show that, with the right conditions, the UK outbound travel industry could grow 15% by 2027, outperforming many other sectors.

“To harness this growth opportunity, the Government needs to put a framework in place which supports businesses through their continued recovery from the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, and next week’s fiscal statement offers the opportunity to do that.”

ABTA wants the Chancellor to extend existing retail-based business rates support beyond the end of the financial year in April 2023, provide business support to companies that don’t have retail premises, such as tour operators, work closely with lenders to ‘encourage a sympathetic approach to businesses that are struggling to repay COVID loans, and freeze air passenger duty for the remainder of the Parliamentary term, as well as recognising travel as one of the industries that will need further support for energy bills when the relief announced by previous PM Liz Truss ends.

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