ABTA urges members to invite their MPs to their stores and businesses to help them understand the challenges they face
With a parliamentary debate on travel planned for June 10, ABTA has updated useful tools that travel agents and tour operators can use in their contact with their local MP, making the process easier and more effective.
ABTA is also suggesting that members invite their MP to come into their shop to set out the severe problems of last 15 months and the vital role that they play in their community, helping to maintain the health of hard-pressed high streets.
The new tools include a template email for MPs, a briefing note and a concise infographic on the economic realities affecting travel agents during the pandemic. The tools can be found at abta.com/savefuturetravel
Ahead of Mark Tanzer’s appearance at the Treasury Select Committee next week, ABTA has launched a short poll to collate additional evidence from members regarding their access to support schemes and current challenges. The evidence gathered will build on recent engagement with members that has provided valuable feedback on many issues around the ongoing challenges facing the sector and access to different support schemes. You can find the link to the ABTA member poll here, which should take no more than five minutes to complete.
Luke Petherbridge, director of public affairs at ABTA, said: “Its really important that we encourage as many MPs as possible to attend the debate in June and speak up for the industry.
“There is strong support for the sector among many parliamentarians, but we need to keep up the pressure on government to act to save the travel industry. MPs will play a really important role in helping to make our case about the value of the sector to government and the need to provide tailored assistance.
“Inviting your local MP to come into your shop can also be a powerful and extremely effective way of demonstrating the vital role you play in your community and that travel needs the same kind of support that the government has been happy to give to other industries.
“We will be doing all we can to make sure as many MPs as possible are aware of the issues facing sector and our main asks for government support – extending employment support and business rates relief and making available recovery grants for travel businesses.
“We will also make clear the need for ministers to focus on aiding the recovery of international travel ahead of the upcoming reviews into the traffic-light system, opening up more countries to the green-list where health data allows. They should also give serious consideration to relaxing restrictions for travel between low-risk countries and for fully vaccinated individuals. As the summer progresses this will increasingly be the case in many of our most popular overseas destinations and would represent another clear, significant benefit of the successful vaccine rollout in the UK, enabling many more to take a much-needed and affordable break.”
Campaign emphasises benefit of booking travel through an ABTA member
ABTA has a new campaign, #ReadySteadyTravel, to help travellers feel informed, reassured, confident and excited to book foreign travel this year.
Through the campaign, ABTA will be sharing content across online and social media channels and working with national media to help people feel equipped and confident to travel this year. ABTA will also revisit and rerun its Book with Confidence advertising, planned to be a later stage of the campaign with adverts running when they are likely to have the greatest impact.
The campaign will be delivered through a number of phases and will flex and respond to the needs of customers and members, as well as what is happening in the UK and further afield around the reopening of travel.
The first phase of the campaign saw the publication of a new website hub which has content about travelling during the pandemic (abta.com/
Content in the website hub includes:
ABTA has been promoting the messages and content from the hub across its social media channels and with national media. There are also assets available for ABTA members to download, which will be added to as the campaign progresses.
ABTA will also continue to promote the value of booking a package holiday and has a new video on the top benefits of a package, which is also available for members to use.
The assets for ABTA members can be found in the marketing toolkit on the MemberZone.
Graeme Buck, director of communications at ABTA, said: “There is a really important role for ABTA to play in helping people feel confident to travel abroad this year, as well as continuing to put forward the industry’s case on the recovery.
“This week is a shining example of the confusion around the return to international travel. Through our #ReadySteadyTravel campaign we’re working to inform, reassure and excite people about planning and booking a foreign holiday, and help to make things clear. We’ll also be reminding people about the benefits of booking through an ABTA member and the extra protections provided by a package holiday.
“Given how changeable things are at the moment, the campaign will be agile – making sure it responds to the latest developments. Our big focus right now is helping people feel informed about what they need to do, both from a government requirement point of view and checking FCDO advice, but also making sure they have everything else in place, from an up-to-date passport to understanding social distancing measures when travelling. And, of course, we’re also celebrating the return to travel and helping people feel excited about the great experiences you get with an overseas holiday.”