As a part of their UK Outbound Travel Think Tank collaboration, The Advantage Travel Partnership and AITO, The Specialist Travel Association, final week launched their joint MP Engagement Programme, and as an initiative in response to National Travel Agents’ Day.
The invitation was issued to all UK MPs to go to the retailers and places of work of the journey companies within the constituencies through which the organisations’ members are positioned. This exercise is a central a part of The UK Outbound Travel Think Tank initiative, which was launched in October final 12 months and which is supporting a large spectrum of political and coverage engagement work.
Over 330 invites have been despatched to MPs throughout the UK, and visits have already taken place with native journey companies, together with The Rt Hon Dame Rosie Winterton, DBE, MP for Doncaster Central, who visited Dawson & Sanderson. Her go to, and others, are significantly well timed given the appreciable help that member companies inside each Advantage and AITO have supplied to travellers affected by the fires in Rhodes and Corfu.
Speaking about her go to, Dame Rosie mentioned: “I know that many of my constituents really value being able to go to a high street travel agent to talk about their holiday options and get good advice on what to book. Travel agencies are an asset to our city and play a big part in getting people into the city centre and the knock-on effect that has on other shops.”
Other such visits because of the joint invitation from The Advantage Travel Partnership and AITO have included that of Andrew Stevenson, MP for Pendle, who visited Althams Travel in Clitheroe, and Chi Onwurah, each MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central and additionally the Shadow Minister for Science, Research & Innovation – who visited Dawson & Sanderson in Newcastle.
Requests for future visits have been forthcoming from 30 extra MPs and these will probably be fulfilled in August and September. Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO, The Advantage Travel Partnership, mentioned: “We have been delighted with the response from MPs who need to go to our member companies, and these members who’ve already had visits have mentioned how useful they discovered them.
“Since launching our joint MP Engagement Programme initiative, we now have seen a notable enhance in engagement with the Government and with different influential policymakers. We are working laborious to extend the general visibility and consciousness of the UK Outbound journey sector throughout Westminster, and these visits to members by their native MPs type a essential a part of this work.
“Many of the MPs we now have spoken to weren’t conscious of their native journey companies, nor have that they had the chance to fulfill them previously. We are due to this fact actually happy with the extent of engagement we now have secured via the launch of this programme to this point, and will probably be guaranteeing that we maximise the variety of MP visits to our journey companies over the approaching months.
“By illustrating to MPs how outbound journey companies are central pillars of their native enterprise communities, we’re constructing a robust caucus of supporters in Parliament. This ought to strengthen significantly our case for the trade to obtain higher Ministerial illustration, whereas additionally reminding these in energy what an enormous financial contribution the journey sector delivers to UK PLC and to the general financial system.
“Our efforts to get more industry players involved with our activity is on-going. We are in the process of having positive conversations with a number of key travel brands and associations and are keen for others to join our Think Tank collaboration so that we can make further – and faster – progress.”
Noel Josephides, a Director of AITO, The Specialist Travel Association, whole-heartedly helps AITO’s joint initiative with Advantage Travel Partnership. He says: “AITO has invested a substantial period of time and effort over a few years by way of lobbying MPs and additionally in encouraging AITO members to interact with their MPs to offer them key info concerning the journey trade, however this joint effort with Advantage is admittedly delivering nicely.
“The journey sector has not solely saved the UK from recession, in line with the Office for National Statistics, however we’re additionally liable for creating an enormous surge in client retail spend previous to occurring vacation. Jointly, the outbound journey sector drives client pre-holiday spend to the worth of £37 billion by way of hairdressing, magnificence remedies, new garments, train lessons, necessities from the chemist resembling suntan cream and a lot, way more.
“Such figures are hugely powerful in terms of the most basic economic arguments, and they matter to Government. It is our joint responsibility to ensure that every MP across the land – many of whom are, of course, Ministers of State – knows just how important the whole travel industry is – not just airlines! – and that they recognise how little assistance they have provided us with in the past. The time has come for them to rate the travel industry as hugely important in terms of economic delivery to the country. We need to shout it from the rooftops – and the briefing documents provided by AITO and The Advantage Travel Partnership enable every one of us to do this with confidence.”