UK Outbound Group invites industry leaders to post-election meeting

The UK Outbound Group is to host an industry-wide meeting to discuss the sector’s political engagement strategy after the general election.

The group, led by The Advantage Travel Partnership, Aito and Abtot, has written to industry leaders across the UK, inviting them to attend the meeting at the group’s Westminster public affairs consultancy FTI Consulting in central London on Monday, September 16, 2024.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Advantage chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said (pictured) said: “With the furore of a general election gripping the country, one could easily be under the impression that now is the time when the main parties unveil supportive measures that recognise the significance of the UK outbound travel sector.

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“Needless to say, there is very little recognition of the economic importance of the sector in any of the main party manifestos.”

Lo Bue-Said it was now time to take more action, insisting: “With the impending election, we now believe it is vital for us to step up our activity to ensure the travel industry receives the recognition and support it deserves as a vital economic contributor.

“It will be an opportunity to discuss the group’s progress to date, reflect on the results of the general election, what this means for our work, the funding required to accelerate progress and the opportunities to expand our activity.”

Lo Bue-Said said the meeting would aim to discuss ongoing efforts to increase political attention on the outbound sector. This follows a lack of political understanding, highlighted during the pandemic, when the industry was “completely overlooked” in terms of support packages.

She added: “Over the last two years, we have – as part of the UK outbound travel lobbying group – advocated effectively on behalf of the sector and amplified the voice of our industry to politicians and policymakers across all major political parties.”

The group’s work so far has been supported by FTI Consulting, which has assisted the group in making “considerable progress” to gain recognition for members and their contribution to the UK economy.

The UK Outbound Group’s MP Engagement Programme, which organises for constituency MPs to visit their local travel businesses, has hosted almost 50 MPs within the last nine months. This has allowed the group to build strong relationships with key government ministers, MPs and policymakers, said Lo Bue-Said.

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