23 Jun Internova Travel Group Boss Backs Travel Day of Action
LONDON (June 23, 2021) – Mike Batt, Chairman of one of the world’s largest travel organisations, Internova Travel Group, has pledged his company’s support – both in the UK and across the Atlantic – to back the UK travel industry’s organised Day of Action on 23rd June 2021.
-Internova Travel Group Chairman Mike Batt
The global travel group, whose UK businesses include well-known brands including Barrhead Travel, ALTOUR, Global Travel Collection and Your Event Solutions, intends to have representation at all UK events. In addition, it will provide virtual support across its 6000-strong network of worldwide travel brands whose business relies on key Transatlantic routes.
Pre-pandemic, its UK-business units were on a trajectory of growth. Scottish-based Barrhead Travel had announced ambitious plans to open up to 100 new stores and create 1000 new jobs in the UK travel market. Its entertainment and luxury division, Global Travel Collection, had secured over 20 new Independent Contractors while corporate travel agency, ALTOUR, had grown through a number of successful client-wins. Halifax-based events-agency, Your Event Solutions, had also recently expanded its footprint out-with the UK with new office locations in the US.
Welshman Mike Batt, who founded the travel group in 2008, said the UK Government was preventing the sustainable recovery for an entire industry with knock-on effects being felt across the globe:
“The UK outbound travel industry has been on house arrest since March 2020, but enough is enough. We need action and answers now. The industry cannot remain in this oblivion for any longer as the consequences of delaying the reopening of UK travel would be severe and would have a worldwide ripple-effect across the entire travel ecosystem.
“International travel must be a priority for the UK Government. We are already witnessing how the inconsistencies from the Traffic Light System are further compounding the damage to our industry and this cannot continue any longer. The US and much of Europe have been travelling freely for weeks, if not months, and many are about to enjoy even more freedoms with the introduction of restriction-free travel for the double-vaccinated.
“Government support should be commensurate with the scale of restrictions but the UK Government, quite frankly, have fundamentally failed to deliver this. Travel businesses need clarity – and so do our customers. It is unacceptable to expect travellers to be at the behest of a Government who choose to lurch in and out of travel guidance at a moment’s notice.
Batt, who is currently based in Florida, said the Day of Action was an opportunity for agents across the world to have their say.
“This week’s Day of Action has the full support of our entire global network of advisors. The UK plays a pivotal role in tourism and corporate travel for our agents and their clients. Any further delay to reopening the UK for business will cause irreparable damage for inbound and outbound tourism. We hope the UK Government is listening – restore basic rights to travel again and let us rebuild our livelihoods.”
UK bosses from Internova Travel Group’s UK businesses will be representing their brands at the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Day of Action lobby events. Find out more information about the organised lobbies here.
Comments from Internova Travel Group UK Leaders:
Maria Baty, Managing Director at ALTOUR UK, said:
“The corporate travel industry is the lifeblood of the UK economy: virtually everything we need and love is linked to the corporate travel sector in some way. From the Euros playing out on our screens to the electricity powering the technology we watch the matches on.
“If the UK Government cannot issue immediate plans for travel recovery, then our sector needs an appropriate package of financial support to compensate. Throughout the pandemic, the corporate travel sector has not even been eligible to claim any form of grants which has added further financial strain to beleaguered businesses.
“It simply is not enough by saying we have the Furlough scheme available – in fact, it’s insulting. It’s firstly insulting to the travel businesses who have no income to pay bills or plan for recovery and, secondly, it’s insulting to the hundreds of thousands of talented people employed by the sector.”
Jacqueline Dobson, President of Barrhead Travel, said:
“It is clear that the travel industry has been left behind on the UK Government’s roadmap for recovery, hindered even more by the false start inflicted by the Traffic Light system debacle. Our industry has perished under restrictions that are no longer fit for purpose and are damaging more businesses and livelihoods as each day passes.
“With airlines moving capacity to Europe and regional airports, like those in Scotland, losing vital flight routes, the Government has set a dangerous precedent in its attempt to restart travel.
“What’s more, we urgently require a four-nations approach to be at the heart of any reopening plans as anything other than this will hamper travel recovery. The Scottish Government’s refusal to fall in-line with UK Government testing providers is forcing Scots to pay more than double for tests on return to the UK. This cannot continue and we must see a commitment from the Scottish Government to rectify this and work with the industry to restore travel and rebuild confidence. “
Jason Oshiokpekhai, Managing Director of Global Travel Collection UK, said:
“We stand together with our industry peers, on 23rd June, as part of the #traveldayofaction and urge employees in all corners of our industry to do the same. With one loud, united voice, we demand interaction with Government to repair the damage of their failed Travel Task Force campaign.
“As one of the last industries standing, 15 months on, without trade or industry-specific support – we need immediate intervention to establish a sustainable, transparent and comprehensive global travel recovery plan. Not a string of false promises, mismatched information and changes at the eleventh hour.”
Sue Gill, CEO of Your Event Solutions, said:
“The ongoing restrictions on international travel have had devastating consequences for the MICE industry who rely on freedom of movement and bringing people together from all over the world.
“Many of our clients are doctors, pharmacists and scientists – all of whom need to be able to travel for critical work purposes that benefit our society. Virtual events have served their purpose – ensuring that professionals can stay connected – but face-to-face meetings must resume to boost local economies, generate world-class innovation and create new jobs and opportunities.”
About Internova Travel Group
Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 65,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.