ABTA joined the Agency Trade Associations to speak in one voice for the travel industry on the recovery from the global pandemic
Representing the travel industry on a global scale, the associations called on government leaders to create a synchronised and aligned response for the industry’s recovery.
The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations (ECTAA), represented travel agencies and businesses globally.
The groups put forward for governments to develop a clear vaccine and testing standard; loosen entry restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers; provide economic relief to the travel agency sector; and make international travel possible again by opening borders as an immediate priority.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) unveiled in 2019 that the travel and tourism sector was one of the largest in the world, accounting for 10.6% of all jobs, and creating one in every four new jobs across the world. With travel agencies, tour operators and other travel businesses impacted by Covid and the global pandemic, the need for standardisation of rules and consistency from governments around the world was addressed by the Agency Trade Associations.
New data has shown the impact of travel requirements on the industry, with international holiday bookings in the UK down 83% in 2021 when compared to 2019.
A spokesperson for Agency Trade Associations said: “For well over a year, inconsistent government orders in a wide range of countries intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 have created confusion and uncertainty among travellers, a chilling effect on future bookings and innumerable other challenges for our associations’ travel agency members and partners.
“The value of and need for travel advisors and agents in today’s world given the intense complexity of travel is vital now more than ever as consumers around the world attempt to recover from this pandemic with certainty and confidence.”