Abta sets out demands in new political manifesto

Abta sets out demands in new political manifesto

Abta has renewed calls for APD to be reformed and reduced and called for increased air capacity in its new political manifesto launched today.

The trade association also calls for investment in infrastructure and a ‘balanced and comprehensive’ conclusion to consumer protection reforms as Europe continues to work on a new Package Travel Directive.

In the six-page document, Abta also stresses how the travel and tourism industry is a fertile sector for young people, women and entrepreneurs.

The manifesto was launched today in the House of Commons at a reception for up to 60 MPs to try to influence the political debate ahead of next year’s General Election.

Entitled ‘A manifesto for jobs and growth in Tourism’, this is the second manifesto launched by the trade association after its first ahead of the last election in 2010.

The document highlights travel and tourism’s vital role in the economy and sets out Abta’s key priorities for the political parties.

These include:

  • Increased airport capacity in the next parliament
  • Investment in infrastructure to improve surface access and the passenger experience
  • Reform and reduction of Air Passenger Duty
  • A cohesive approach to tourism policymaking;
  • Completion of consumer protection reforms in a balanced and comprehensive way
  • The manifesto has includes new research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) on the impact of the travel sector on the UK economy
  • The analysis shows how travel and tourism is a significant and growing source of employment in the UK

The key findings were:

  • Travel and tourism provides excellent youth employment opportunities with over 1/3 of all workers in the industry aged under 30
  • Entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers are thriving, with the proportion of self-employed workers in the industry exceeding that of the wider economy
  • With almost double the amount of part-time jobs compared with the wider economy, the industry offers flexible jobs for students, those in training and young people
  • Apprenticeships provide great opportunities for young people, with the transport sector in particular providing considerably more (14%) than the wider economy (10%)
  • The sector caters for all skills levels, with 8% of workers having no qualifications at all, but 20% educated to degree level or higher
  • Women make up 51.4% of the industry workforce, far higher than the UK average

The CEBR study builds on a previous Deloitte report that found total employment supported by the industry totals 3.1 million or 10% of the UK workforce.

The was also found to have created a third of all new employment since 2010.

Mark Tanzer, Abta chief executive, said: “We are delighted to launch our manifesto in the House of Commons, highlighting our key priorities ahead of the next General Election.

“As an industry, we can point to some real progress in convincing this government to move on reforms to both APD and consumer protection and also in influencing and moving forward the airport capacity debate.

“But we as an industry, and the government, must do more. To compete in this fast-paced global marketplace, it is crucial that the momentum that the industry has been steadily building behind necessary reforms and policies picks up steam beyond 2015, and that is why we are launching this manifesto.”

Stephen D’Alfonso, Abta head of public affairs, said: “The Abta manifesto, and the new research that supports it, is designed to remind policymakers just how innovative, exciting and important the travel and tourism industry is to the UK economy.

“We will now focus on making our case to MPs and parliamentary candidates of all political colours to give them the evidence they need to deliver our industry’s priorities should they be elected in 2015.”

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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