On 23 June, UKinbound joined forces with industry bodies across the UK including ABTA, Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association, the Business Travel Association, British Airline Pilots Association, Unite the Union, IATA, SPAA, ANITA, and 10 members of the Save Future Travel Coalition for the Travel Day of Action outside the Houses of Parliament.
Hundreds of travel professionals from across the industry, including 30 UKinbound members, gathered throughout the day on College Green to ask Government for a package of tailored financial support – including extension of furlough until April 2022, and to allow international travel to return safely and in a risk-managed way by expanding the green list in line with the evidence and making restrictions more proportionate, such as by removing testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated individuals travelling from green and amber countries.
As the only trade association solely representing the inbound tourism sector, UKinbound provided dedicated signs featuring the #saveinboundtourism hashtag, and Golden Tours provided a bus displaying a stark figure: that the UK is losing £65 million per day from a lack of inbound visitors.
Speaking to the Sky News All Out Politics programme and on LBC Radio, CEO Joss Croft highlighted the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on inbound tourism and the need for a level playing field to ensure that the UK does not lose out to its competitor destinations who are welcoming visitors that have been fully vaccinated without the need to quarantine.
UKinbound Board member and CEO of Tours International, Lana Bennett, also appeared on BBC London, a number of BBC Radio programmes and on LBC Radio to share the ongoing impact of the pandemic on tour operators and DMCs, and the urgent need for further Government support to ensure the sector can survive until international visitors can return.
In total, more than 1,300 pieces of media coverage was generated on the day, and the impact was even greater on social media where 12 million impressions were achieved and the event hashtag #speakupfortravel became the third highest trending hashtag for the whole of the UK.
In addition to the media, over 50 MPs attended the event to show their support the industry and meet with those present. Activity also took place in various locations across the UK, including Belfast, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham.
Following on from the Travel Day of Action, UKinbound will be presenting a new proposal to the Treasury for a tailored and targeted package of support for inbound tour operators and destination management companies and an extension of furlough until April 2022. Read more here.