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APPG for events seeks clarification from government on reopening timeline

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events, alongside the APPG for Business Travel, have written to Robert Courts MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport.

The letter seeks clarification on a couple of points surrounding the reopening of travel and events. They ask for a timeline for restarting travel once the Global Travel Taskforce reports back to the Prime Minister in April, and for clarification on which measures will be relaxed or retained.

The letter is signed by Theresa Villiers MP, Chair of the APPG for Events, and Stephen Hammond MP, Chair of the APPG for Business Travel.

It underscores that “business travel is a key part of the events industry supply chain,” and is the “lifeblood” of events.

The full text of the letter can be viewed below:

 

Dear Robert,

25th March 2021

We write on behalf of two All-Party Parliamentary Groups which we chair: those for Business Travel, and Events.

Whilst these APPGs are distinct in their focus and priorities, both the business travel and events industries have been profoundly impacted by COVID-19; and how they recover in the months ahead will depend upon the extent to which they can restart successfully this summer.

Business travel is a key part of the events industry supply chain. It is lifeblood to trade shows, conferences and other events. However, corporate organisations and business travellers are unlikely to book venues or send representatives overseas whilst there is uncertainty about which measures they will need to comply with, or there remains a chance that some of these measures will change abruptly and at the last minute.

Greater certainty is essential to restoring confidence and demand. We are grateful that the Prime Minister has published his Roadmap for how he will unlock the economy, and that it cited milestones for both travel and events. We are also grateful for the decision to extend the Job Retention Scheme and other business support measures in the Budget.

These measures will be a vital lifeline for the business travel and events industries. However, there remain a number of questions on which we hope you can shed light as Minister for Aviation. These include the timeline for restarting travel once the Global Travel Taskforce reports back to the Prime Minister in April, and which measures will be relaxed or retained.

Naturally, some of these questions will be answered once the taskforce has presented its report, and we understand that the business travel industry has been invited to participate and submit evidence, which is welcome. However, we would also welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss some of these issues and questions directly.

The success of the UK vaccination programme has been a model for many other countries. It has shown that there is light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel for the industries represented by our APPGs. The UK should now seize the opportunity created by these efforts. We are seen across the world as an increasing safe place.

While there is understandable caution, we hope Ministers will seize the opportunity to show the world that the UK is ready for business by restoring global travel in a way which not only protects the public wellbeing, but also enables the business travel and events industries to emerge and begin to recover from the pandemic.

Yours sincerely,

Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP Stephen Hammond MP
Chair of the APPG on Events Chair of the APPG on Business Travel