Industry leaders react to Labour general election landslide

Abta has pledged to press the new Labour government on the value of the outbound travel sector following the party’s general election victory.

The travel association’s chief executive Mark Tanzer highlighted key issues to be raised with the new administration in Downing Street.

“We look forward to working with the new government on the priorities for the travel industry and our members,” he said.

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“As the voice of the travel industry, Abta is in a very strong place to engage with the new government, MPs, and officials.

“We’ve already put in a lot of work with parliamentary candidates across the political spectrum, which means we can hit the ground running in engaging them in the issues that matter to our members and the wider industry.

“We’ll be contacting newly appointed ministers over the coming days to remind them of the huge value of the outbound travel industry to the UK economy – contributing £49 billion a year and supporting 843,000 jobs, and to raise our policy priorities within their direct portfolios.”

Tanzer added: “One thing we will be stressing is the need for urgent action to help the industry achieve its sustainability goals – particularly with regards to aviation.

“There is a plan for aviation to reach net zero but it can’t be achieved without government support and action, and time is of the essence on this issue.

“It’s also important that policy changes are delivered in a way that protects the vast benefits that travel and tourism brings, both here at home and in communities around the world.”

Abta will also be reminding the new government of the “ongoing challenges” facing travel businesses of all sizes.

These were highlighted as including “the squeeze on consumer spending and repayment of Covid loans, as well as the opportunities available to support the sector, for example, through a youth mobility deal with the EU or business rates reform to incentivise high street trading”.

Tanzer pledged: “In the early months of this new Parliament and government, Abta will be actively engaging MPs and ministers on a wide range of policies, as outlined in our manifesto for travel and tourism.

“We’ll also be speaking with members to encourage businesses to get involved with our efforts. Watch this space for more on activities the industry can get behind in the coming weeks.”

Commenting on behalf of the UK Outbound Travel Group, Advantage Travel Partnership chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said said: “The election results provide the UK Outbound Travel group with an opportunity for the new government to recognise the benefits and impact of the outbound travel sector more than it has been previously recognised and we are looking forward to building on the meetings we have had to date with the new Labour team.

“As a group we will now continue with the success of our UK MP engagement programme, inviting local MPs visiting our members up and down the country, and engaging with the Labour government on behalf of the outbound travel sector and our combined members.”


The UK Outbound Group, led by Advantage, Aito and Abtot has invited travel trade leaders to attend an industry-wide meeting to discuss the sector’s political engagement strategy post-election in London on September 16.

The Travel Network Group chief executive Gary Lewis was among trade leaders giving their reaction.

Lewis said: “We acknowledge the formation of the new government and extend our congratulations.

“The travel industry is a vital component of the UK’s economy, and we look forward to collaborating through the Future Travel Coalition with the new administration to support its growth and sustainability.

“We will be urging the government to establish a dedicated minister of tourism to provide focused leadership and strategic oversight for our industry.

“Additionally, we will be advocating for more stringent regulations on airports to build better resilience to stop needless disruption.

“The government needs to address the cost-of-living crisis and we hope for policies that will drive growth and make travel more accessible to all. Such measures will ensure that the travel sector remains competitive and resilient.”

Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association president Jacqueline Dobson said: “We look forward to working with the new intake of MPs to ensure that the travel and tourism sector in Scotland receives the recognition and support it deserves. 

“Travel and tourism are vital to our nation’s prosperity and well-being, and we need a collaborative approach from both the Scottish and UK governments to create a solid base for a sustainable future. 

“Our manifesto for travel outlines the key issues and opportunities for our industry, and we urge the new MPs to engage with us and our members to understand and act on them We won’t just be watching … we’ll be actively approaching MPs to bring the voice of travel to you.”

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