21 JUNE 2021


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Article from BTNews 21 JUNE 2021

ON THE SOAPBOX SPECIAL: ABTA Chief Executive, Mark Tanzer

Mark Tanzer has been Chief Executive of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) since September 2005 working tirelessly during the pandemic to ensure that the travel industry’s voice is heard in these traumatic times.

This week could be momentous for him – “his finest hour” with Travel Matters on Tuesday, Day of Action on Wednesday and a significant government announcement for the Thursday.

Before joining ABTA Mark held senior strategy and corporate finance positions in a number of industry sectors, and was Group Strategy Director of Centrica Plc, the parent company of British Gas and the Automobile Association.

“Although we’re in what is normally the main summer holiday season, over-cautious Government restrictions mean that at a time when businesses should be making the most of their income, many are at financial breaking point. While the last 18 months have been the most difficult ever for the industry, these last few weeks have reached new lows. The situation is, for many, now desperate. I’ll be continuing to push home these points at our Travel Matters conference tomorrow (22 June), and the Travel Day of Action on Wednesday (23 June).
We are all intensely frustrated that the Government seems blind to the plight of the travel sector. The work we do as an industry to lobby the Government and make the case to reopen safely and support the sector through the crisis is more critical than ever. The Travel Day of Action is an opportunity for us to all come together – whether virtually or in person – to hammer home our message and put pressure on the Government to act. Like many of you, I will be there at College Green in Westminster speaking to MPs and the media about the devasting impact the pandemic has had on the sector, and I look forward to seeing you there.
There are lots of ways you can get involved in the day, details so far are available at www.abta.com/traveldayofaction. The ABTA team has been working hard with 20 other bodies to put together the arrangements for the day – including the event in Westminster, reaching out to MPs, organising banners, placards and other collateral, as well as a social media pack and coordinating the other activities happening across the day.
Tomorrow we also have our annual Travel Matters event, where leading figures from our sector will explore how we can restore consumer confidence, unlock the industry and build a strong foundation to withstand future challenges under the theme: ‘Politics and Policies: An Agenda for Recovery’. I’m delighted that over 500 people are registered to attend.
Travel Matters and the Day of Action come at a critical time for the travel industry, just ahead of the Government’s review of requirements for international travel at the end of this month.”

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