Travel Day of Action

Posted 23/06/2021 by Simon Goddard

Vibe is standing with the travel industry, calling on Government to safely reopen travel and provide financial support.

 

London based travel booking platform, Vibe, is taking part in the Travel Day of Action (Wednesday 23 June) to highlight the ongoing challenges facing the sector, and the risks to businesses and livelihoods.

The Travel Day of Action is a pan-industry event – bringing together people and businesses from across the aviation and travel industries - including those who operate and organise overseas and inbound holidays, visits to family and friends and business trips abroad.

As a result of the pandemic, many of Vibe’s clients have had a challenging year. The flexibility of the technology behind Vibe’s booking platform has enabled these clients to efficiently update their online comms with their own customers but a lack of adequate government support packages has meant that many have faced avoidable losses – be that staff or revenue.

Like many businesses associated with the sector, the Vibe team has been reduced because of redundancies forced by the pandemic, however the team have been able to respond quickly to government requirements in countries outside of the UK where the Vibe platform has been used to implement the quarantine and isolation requirements for entry.

The pandemic has been a catastrophe for the wider travel industry, closing borders, and even making most travel to and from the UK illegal for months on end. Data from ABTA estimates that as many as 195K jobs have been lost or are at risk within the travel industry1.

Without a meaningful summer season – a crucial period of the year for travel businesses – many thousands of livelihoods are at stake, as well as the ability of the travel sector to recover and reconnect the UK to the world.

While other sectors have received tailored support, such as specific grant schemes, the story is quite different for travel, with many travel businesses excluded from the general grant support available and others only able to access the bare minimum. As a result, many businesses are struggling to survive - 57% of SME travel agents said they would not have the cash to survive more than three months based on current trading conditions and available Government support2.

Despite international travel being significantly curtailed, meaning businesses still have little opportunity to generate income, companies will be subject to the 10% rise in furlough costs at the end of the month, and payments towards business rates for travel agents will also go up.

Phil Cook, CEO at Vibe said:

“Travel businesses have suffered more than most companies in this crisis. International travel has been severely restricted for almost 18 months now and, while other businesses have been opening their doors in recent weeks, the Government has been telling people not to travel.

“The Government needs to give some tailored support to the travel sector. The industry hasn’t had anywhere need the financial support that other areas of the economy have had, yet we have less opportunity to generate income. The situation is beyond desperate. We need the Government to urgently help the travel industry.”

The Travel Day of Action has support from the UK’s major airlines and tour operators as well as hundreds of small independent travel agents and leisure and business travel agents. Collectively they are calling on the UK Government to:

  • Allow international travel to return safely and in a risk managed way by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan for a traffic-light system, by expanding the green list in line with the evidence and making restrictions more proportionate, whilst keeping a strong red list to guard against variants. Government should also capitalise on the success of the vaccine rollout by removing testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated individuals travelling from green and amber countries.
     
  • Bring forward a package of tailored financial support, including extension of furlough support until April 2022, recognising that the travel sector’s ability to trade and generate income is much slower than first anticipated and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy.

For more information

For more information on the Day of Action you can contact the ABTA press office on press@abta.co.uk or 020 3117 0596 or visit www.abta.com/traveldayofaction

Notes to editors

[1] Estimates based on a calculation which uses CEBR data and responses from ABTA Member Survey, March 2021, with results from a representative sample of the ABTA Membership.  

2 ABTA Member Survey, March 2021, with results from a representative sample of the ABTA Membership.  

About the Travel Day of Action

Organisers and supporters of the cross-industry day of action include ABTA, Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association, BAR UK, UKinbound, the Business Travel Association, IATA, British Airline Pilots Association, Unite the Union, Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents (ANITA) and the other 10 Members of the Save Future Travel Coalition.

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