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Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association

Business travel sector gains support in parliament

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), a inter-party group dedicated to business travel, held its first meeting yesterday, 8 September.

The APPG is made up of MPs from across the political spectrum, all of whom have an interest in and knowledge of business travel, and is chaired by Stephen Hammond, MP for Wimbledon and former parliamentary under secretary of state for transport.

The group heard from a range of industry speakers on the issues facing business travel today, and its importance to the UK’s economic recovery.

The speakers included: Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association; Suzanne Horner, CEO of Gray Dawes Global and Chair of the British Travel Association (BTA); Andrew Crawley, chief commercial officer of American Express Global Business Travel; and Thomas Haagensen, group markets director of easyJet.

Stephen Hammond said: “I look forward to making the case for business travel and making some quick submissions to Government to help the industry, as well as formulating longer term policy ideas with the APPG.”

Clive Wratten (pictured) added: “The BTA’s role is to grow the profile and importance of business travel in building a strong and sustainable economy, and today is a key step in that journey.”

Wratten re-iterated the BTA’s call for urgent Government support for business travel as the “lifeblood of the economy” through a range of measures including an extension to the furlough scheme, the temporary suspension of air passenger duty, business rate relief and rapid development and approval of traveller testing.

Andrew Crawley stressed the need to move from complete risk avoidance to intelligent risk management.

He stated: “We believe that bilaterally agreed quarantine exemptions for business travel, booked through a TMC, is a very viable proposition.”