UK travel industry: No support from the government


Apparently the travel industry feels that there is a lack of government support for the industry. This became a very big problem during the ash crisis. A survey of members by the Institute of Travel and Meetings revealed that 72 percent of buyers thought that the UK government could have done more to assist the travel industry during that time of crisis.

They went on to say that, in particular, the government could have called for better planning and clearer communication. Buyers also reported that suppliers across the board hiked up their prices during the ash crisis. This went double for hotels.

The CEO of the Institute of Travel and Meetings, Paul Tilstone, said in general, the reaction to the crisis was measured and effective – a result of crisis management systems having been finely tuned over the years. However, the support of stakeholders outside the industry appeared to be woefully lacking. The research also focused on how well travel managers coped during the ash crisis and the level of support they received.

The survey also revealed that one third of travel managers did not have crisis plans in place by the time the ash cloud became major news on April 15th. The MD of Argate, or the Institute of Travel and Meeting’s research partner, Colin Goldney, said that clearly the TMC community provided some great support for business travelers and their companies. However, there is also an opportunity for them to look at more creative solutions, which companies had to create themselves. TMC is in the perfect position to be able to coordinate activity between companies and look at chartered services and other resolutions in times of crisis.