The Save Future Travel Coalition has written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden MP, in response to the publication of the Tourism Recovery Plan to call for a number of crucial steps to be implemented to support the travel and tourism industry.
In the letter signed by 16 senior representatives from across the industry, the Coalition expressed disappointment with the lack of tangible policies in the Tourism Recovery Plan that was published last month. They also showed concern with a statement in the Plan that the Government wants to “embrace” the current restrictions on overseas travel as an “opportunity” by “boosting domestic demand”, with the Coalition emphasising that the outbound tourism sector is worth more than £37bn and supports more than half a million jobs in ordinary times across the UK.
Highlighting the importance that retaining the UK’s strategic international connectivity will play in the UK’s overall economic recovery from COVID-19, the Coalition reiterated its proposed key actions to support the industry, including:
To establish without delay the proposed inter-Ministerial group for Tourism, and broaden its remit, so that it can act as a conduit to ensure the views of the travel industry are heard by ministers across Government.
To set up permanent structures to ensure a coordinated approach to travel and tourism between the four nations of the UK.
That the Secretary of State for DCMS makes representations to HM Treasury for travel and tourism businesses to be a priority case for funding and that financial support is not removed while constraints on trade imposed by the Government remain in place.
To include overseas visitors who have been fully vaccinated in the changes to quarantine rules.
To make the case for borders to be resourced fully to ensure that increased volumes of passengers can be handled without significant disruption.
To make coronavirus tests in travel more affordable and more proportionate in their use.
One of the Coalition partners, ABTA Public Affairs Manager, Emma Wade, said:
“The Tourism Recovery Plan 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.”
The Save Future Travel Coalition is made up of 16 leading travel bodies and campaign organisations which together represent the vast majority of outbound and inbound organised travel to the UK, they are:
- ABTA – The Travel Association
- AITO – The Specialist Travel Association
- Advantage Travel Partnership
- African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA)
- Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents (ANITA)
- Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (ATAS)
- The Business Travel Association (BTA)
- Caribbean Tourism Organization UK & Europe Ltd
- Cruise Lines International Association UK & Ireland (CLIA)
- Keep Travel Alive
- Latin American Travel Association (LATA)
- Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
- Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA)
- Seasonal Businesses in Travel (SBIT)
- The Travel Network Group (TTNG)