ABTA has written to the chancellor ahead of this week’s fiscal statement to urge “tailored support” for the travel industry.
Mark Tanzer told Rishi Sunak that ongoing salary support and financial assistance is required to help minimise further job losses at a time when the travel industry continues to suffer from Covid-19 related redundancies.
He said: “The restart of international travel is a significant milestone that the travel industry’s recovery is dependent on, but longer-term measures are also needed to stay off pending job losses.
“While the easing of lockdown has started, the travel industry continues to be in the midst of this crisis and the government has an important role to support businesses to rebuild demand and provide consumer reassurance. Fiscal measures to boost demand, including cuts to VAT as well as a temporary suspension of air passenger duty to cover the summer season next year must be considered by the chancellor”.
Last month, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) warned that about three million UK travel and tourism jobs could be lost.
It said that if travel restrictions were removed over summer – as now is, in part, the case – the government could save 1.7 million jobs from being lost, according to the WTTC.
Gloria Guevara, president and CEO, said: “Our new modelling reveals the depth of the long-term crisis facing the UK Travel & Tourism industry if travel restrictions, such as the 14-day quarantine measures introduced by government this week and the FCO travel advisory continue for some time.”
On the announcement of the travel corridors list, an ABTA spokesperson said: “The government announcement will be greeted with huge relief by the travel industry, which can now plan ahead and take summer holiday bookings.
“Travel businesses have been under enormous pressure since the start of the pandemic, and the industry can now start to meet customers’ pent-up appetite for travel. Getting the balance of health risk and economic risk is a difficult challenge, and we strongly support the government in taking this initiative.”