18 OCTOBER 2021


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Article from BTNews 18 OCTOBER 2021

ABTA’s Travel Convention

Traditionally held at exotic holiday resorts ABTA’s (normally) annual Travel Convention took place on 13 October at the East Wintergarden Canary Wharf on the former Heron Quays, the site of the first test landing for London City Airport in 1982. It is now a fine conference centre.

Julia Simpson, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) President, and Willie Walsh’s former chief of staff when he was boss of IAG, said: “While the global travel and tourism sector is beginning to recover, the UK continues to suffer big losses due to continuing travel restrictions that are tougher than the rest of Europe.”

Only one month into the job, but very quickly knowing its requirements, she criticised the UK Government for sowing confusion with “things announced with no date for implementation of the changes,” such as the move to Covid-19 lateral flow tests (LFT), adding: “They’ve got to absolutely get rid of the red list now, we do not need it, if people are double vaxed they should travel freely.”

Mark Tanzer, ABTA’s Chief Executive, said that the travel association’s research showed customers’ “intention to travel this winter, and for the next 12 months, heading back to close to pre-Covid levels.”

While he said many bookings were deferred from 2019 and 2020, he added that it demonstrated “the underlying determination to travel again, which should give us, and financial backers, confidence.”

He said, however, that the industry still needed government to “ease the red tape” for entry to the UK, and urged the Chancellor to extend support measures in the upcoming Budget for travel firms, which for some “will mean the difference between survival and failure.”


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