Travel trade needs winter resilience plan to tackle cost of living crisis

The travel trade needs more work to create winter resilience strategy as part of a six-month scheme to support sector recovery from the pandemic amid the cost of living crisis.

The disclosure emerged from the first face to face meeting of the cross-industry Future Travel Coalition since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

The meeting of the 15-member group coincided with Liz Truss being confirmed as the next Conservative prime minister to succeed Boris Johnson in Downing Street with a pledge to deal with surging energy costs and to cut taxes. A package of energy bills support is due to be revealed as early as Thursday.

Details of discussions remain sketchy but the cost-of-living crisis was top of the Coalition meeting agenda for government lobbying ahead of Truss naming her new cabinet.

The coalition, which includes Abta, Advantage Travel Partnership, Aito, the Business Travel Association, The Travel Network Group and the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association among others, met at Abta’s office.

Abta has said the number one priority for the new administration must be acting on the cost of living crisis.

Chief executive Mark Tanzer said: “The Conservative leadership election is over and it’s now time for action.

“We heard more from Liz Truss over the weekend about what could be done to support people and businesses with rising energy bills – we now need to know what will be done, and by when.

“Introducing a cap on energy rates for businesses, extending business rates support and offering more headroom with the repayment of business loans taken on during the Covid crisis are all things the government should be considering to help businesses weather the cost of living crisis.

“We’ve put many of these recommendations to the incoming prime minister already, ahead of their election, and will do so again in the coming days.”

SPAA president Mike Tibbert said after the Future of Travel Coalition meeting: “The Future Travel Coalition worked remotely but effectively during the pandemic and today was the first opportunity for the group to meet in person in London.

“It was a positive meeting where all bodies agreed a six-month work programme to support travel moving forward with its recovery.

“We are also all in agreement that further work is required to establish a winter resilience strategy.

“Members of The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association are reassured by our continued active involvement with the coalition.”

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