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Industry responds to the Tourism Recovery Plan

The industry have issued a response to the ‘disappointing’ Tourism Recovery Plan in a letter to Oliver Dowden MP

ABTA and the Save Future Travel Coalition have written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden MP, calling for crucial steps to be implemented to support the travel and tourism industry.

The letter was written following last month’s publication of the Tourism Recovery Plan, which ABTA public affairs manager and coalition partner Emma Wade says “lacks many policies the industry is so desperate to see.”

“We urge the Secretary of State and his colleagues to engage with businesses and organisations across the travel and tourism industry to rectify that oversight, and to ensure that the Plan continues to evolve in the coming weeks and months,” Wade added.

Signed by 16 senior representatives from across the industry, the letter expresses disappointment at the lack of tangible policies in the plan. 

The letter follows the travel industry’s day of protest in June, organised by ABTA to protest against the lack of government support for the sector. 

In the letter, the Coalition has shown concern at the government’s focus on domestic travel, emphasising how the outbound tourism sector regularly supports more than half a million jobs across the UK and is worth more than £37bn. 

The industry has detailed the importance of retaining the UK’s international connectivity and its role within the UK’s economic recovery from the impact of Covid and lockdowns.

Proposed key actions to support the industry were reiterated in the letter, including: the immediate establishment of an inter-Ministerial group for Tourism and broadening its remit to ensure views of the travel industry are being heard by ministers across the government; setting up permanent structures to coordinate approach to travel and tourism between the four nations of the UK; making Covid testing in travel more affordable and proportionate to their use; making a case for full resources for borders to handle increased volumes of passengers without significant disruption; calling on Dowden MP to make representations to HM Treasury for businesses in the travel and tourism sector to be a priority for funding and for financial support from the government to not be removed; and to include changes in quarantine rules for fully vaccinated overseas visitors. 

The 16 leading travel bodies and campaign organisations that make up the Save Future Travel Coalition represent major outbound and inbound organisations for travel to the UK. They are: ABTA, The Association of Independent Tour Operators, Advantage Travel Partnership, African Travel & Tourism Association, Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents, Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers, The Business Travel Association, Caribbean Tourism Organization UK & Europe Ltd, Cruise Lines International Association UK & Ireland, Keep Travel Alive, Latin American Travel Association, Pacific Asia Travel Association, Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association, Seasonal Businesses in Travel, The Travel Network Group and UKinbound.