5 OCTOBER 2020


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Article from BTNews 5 OCTOBER 2020

ABTA and Shapps

With Transport Minister Grant Shapps due to appear before its annual conference next week by video link (14 October) ABTA has published figures revealing four in five people (80%) are concerned about having to quarantine when they return to the UK from holiday abroad.

The findings also show that currently, when it comes to going overseas on holiday, 93% of people are concerned about potential last-minute changes to Foreign Office travel advice.

ABTA says the research demonstrates that the current approach to foreign travel advice and quarantine measures has shattered people’s confidence in travelling abroad. It leaves viable travel businesses – including the thousands of travel agents up and down the country – unable to generate income.

ABTA’s recent member survey showed that over 90,000 jobs across the wider travel sector are already lost or at risk, and 65% of travel agents and tour operators have made redundancies as the furlough scheme wound down. In August, only 28% of previously furloughed staff had returned to work, and nearly 80% of businesses that had not yet let staff go anticipated having to do so in the coming months.  The new job scheme does little to avoid this outcome.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association, said: “The travel industry was the first to be affected by the coronavirus crisis and will be the last to recover.

“While we recognise that the Government is attempting to offer some ongoing salary support through the new Job Support Scheme, in reality, it offers little help for travel businesses as they aren’t able to generate the revenue needed to cover the cost to employers.

“Without action from the Government, we are going to see businesses that would be perfectly viable if Government were to ease restrictions on travel closing their doors, and thousands of jobs will be lost. Addressing these issues, while maintaining health precautions, must now be a priority for Ministers.”

In ordinary times, the UK's travel industry supports over 100m trips annually (inbound and outbound), with an economic contribution of more than £60bn, and employing close to one million people.

Details of the surveys quoted can be found on the ABTA website.

Also see Save Future Travel Coalition and ABTA in the week's BTN


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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

Julian James, London

What we need from Mr Shapps is action not just words. In six months the government has done nothing for travel. ABTA will give him a tough time for sure and if he survives that Airlines UK members will be ready with some strong questions!