Everyone in travel is being urged to come together for a #traveldayofaction on 23 June to put pressure on the UK Government to save the industry before it’s too late.
Organisers want the Goverment to allow safe international travel by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan and to commit to a tailored package of support for the industry.
The date has been chosen because it’s just ahead of the 28 June date when the Government is expected to review the next steps for international travel, including the traffic light system.
Organisers include ABTA, Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association, BAR UK, UKinbound, the Business Travel Association, Advantage Travel Partnership, The Travel Network Group, and the other 11 members of the Save Future Travel Coalition, with other industry organisations welcome to join.
Details are being finalised, but the day of action will involve an organised lobby at the Houses of Parliament, which would see Members of Parliament meet with a large number of their constituents at Westminster on a single day.
Plans are also being developed for events across other parts of the UK, targeted at the Devolved Administrations. The event is intended to generate and attract national media attention and will also seek to gain traction on social media.
The event will start at 12.30pm, allowing people time to travel down to London for the day.
ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer said: “These next weeks will be critical for the travel industry. We have been working together since the start of the pandemic to make the sector’s case on what the industry needs to get through this crisis and return safely to international travel.
“We’re in a situation where the Government is curtailing overseas travel but isn’t providing tailored support for the travel industry. The longer this goes on the more jobs, livelihoods and businesses are at risk.”
The Travel Network Group CEO Gary Lewis said: “We urge our members and the wider outbound travel industry to get behind the day of action on 23 June.
The march on Westminster is in response to the shocking, illogical announcement from the Government which effectively cancelled travel for the foreseeable future and went against the expectations set in the Global Travel Taskforce report.
“Until people can travel freely, and the travel industry is able to get back on its feet, we need the Government to provide direct financial sector-specific support which we have been calling for since summer 2020.
“Our industry employs over 221,000 people and contributes £37.1 billion to the economy but our calls for support and clarity have not been met. We hope that the Government takes notice of the day of action and acts on the industry’s demands before further damage is done.”
Advantage Travel Partnership CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said said: “We all need to be pulling together towards this one single date, so it has the greatest media and political impact.
“It is imperative the industry speaks with one clear voice to demand action from the Government urgently on the safe recovery of travel and tourism.
“Not only are we trailing behind other countries on opening up travel, we are trailing behind every other British industry which has had the benefit of conforming to the domestic road map outlined by the Government.
“This is tantamount to woeful neglect and we as industry intend to redress the balance and get Government to back us as we strive to save jobs and businesses.”
Dnata Travel Group Divisional Senior Vice President John Bevan said: “It is mystifying to us that targeted support for our industry has not been forthcoming, even as our ability to operate is being prevented by confused policymaking and muddled thinking.
“It’s high time we came together and spoke with one voice to make the needs of the travel industry heard at this parlous time in our history.”