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Travel industry protest at Westminster as sector has been ‘decimated’ by government failings

Westminster protest

Today members of the travel industry will protest outside the Palace of Westminster as the sector has been “decimated by the pandemic and the government.”

The industry body ABTA estimates there around 195,000 travel jobs that have been lost or are at risk, and the body have accused the government of failing to restart the sector by “undermining” the traffic light system.

Abta estimated that 800 people, which include travel agents, pilots and cabin crew, will protest outside the Palace of Westminster today.

There will also be around 200 which will meet at Scottish parliament, Holyrood in Edinburgh, there will be a further 100 who will assemble in Belfast.

There will also be a virtual meeting will take place for campaigners in Wales.

Derek Jones, boss of luxury travel firm Kuoni, said the travel sector has been “decimated by this pandemic and by the government’s haphazard response to it.

Jones added, “Today [Wednesday], we have joined together to call upon Ministers to acknowledge that the restrictions they have placed on international travel are having a deep and devastating impact on travel businesses.

“We are united in one message today: we want to see the safe reopening of international travel alongside targeted financial support for businesses which have not been able to trade for well over a year.”

A Government spokeswoman said, “Our international travel policy is guided by one overwhelming priority: protecting public health.

“Decisions on traffic light allocations take into account a range of factors including genomic surveillance capability, transmission risk and variants of concern, with data behind decisions to move countries on the list published online.

“We keep all measures under review and continue to engage with industry and international partners to explore how we can open international travel safely. Both tailored and wider economic support is still available to the sector, including the furlough scheme.”

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Travel industry protest at Westminster as sector has been ‘decimated’ by government failings

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