//Half of business travel jobs at risk

Half of business travel jobs at risk

Association says travel corridors are focusing on leisure destinations

The Business Travel Association has warned that 50 per cent of jobs in the sector are at risk.

In a speech to the BTA’s Virtual Conference yesterday, Clive Wratten, the association’s CEO, criticised the 14-day quarantine, and said that travel corridors would focus on leisure destinations despite a growing pent up demand for business travel.

“One in two jobs in the business travel sector are at real risk. The blunt force of quarantine has made the UK a closed island – especially for business travellers – and our Government is not listening carefully enough to the grave challenges our sector is facing. They need to wake-up quickly.”

The BTA has urged the Government to introduce travel corridors and pilot testing on arrival for business travellers.

He added: “We have made it very clear to the Transport Secretary, and the Home Secretary, that travel corridors cannot just focus on tourism. Business travel hotspots such as Amsterdam, Paris and Hong Kong must be included. Without effective and focused business travel we will jeopardise the £220 billion our industry contributes to UK GDP each year.”

Wratten concluded: “This Government – and our economy – cannot allow the destruction of the business travel sector to be a lasting legacy of COVID-19. Extending the furlough scheme will be both a saviour for our industry’s jobs and a solid investment in much needed growth.”

The BTA’s members account for more than 90 per cent of UK expenditure on business travel, employing 14,500 people, and making over 30 million annual transactions which result in turnover in excess of £11.5 billion.

Sam Ballard is a director and co-founder of Waterfront Publishing, creator of ABTA Magazine, Cruise Adviser, Solus and more.