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Launch of the MP Engagement Programme by Advantage and AITO

The Advantage Travel Partnership and AITO, The Specialist Travel Association, last week unveiled their joint MP Engagement Programme as part of their UK Outbound Travel Think Tank collaboration and as a response to National Travel Agents’ Day.

All UK lawmakers received an invitation to stop by the travel companies’ stores and offices in the districts where their constituents are located. The UK Outbound Travel Think Tank initiative, which was started in October of last year and is supporting a wide range of political and policy engagement work, places a strong emphasis on this activity.

The Rt Hon Dame Rosie Winterton, DBE, MP for Doncaster Central, visited Dawson & Sanderson after accepting one of the more than 330 invitations that were sent to MPs all over the UK. Given the significant assistance that member companies of Advantage and AITO have given to travellers impacted by the fires in Rhodes and Corfu, her visit and others are especially timely.

“I know that many of my constituents really value being able to go to a high street travel agent to talk about their holiday options and get good advice on what to book,” Dame Rosie said in reference to her visit. The importance of travel agencies in drawing visitors to the city centre and the ripple effect that has on surrounding businesses can’t be overstated.

Other visits made as a result of the joint invitation from The Advantage Travel Partnership and AITO have included those of Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central and the Shadow Minister for Science, Research & Innovation, who visited Dawson & Sanderson in Newcastle, and Andrew Stevenson, MP for Pendle, who visited Althams Travel in Clitheroe.

Thirty more MPs have requested additional visits, which will be granted in August and September. The Advantage Travel Partnership’s CEO, Julia Lo Bue-Said, stated: “We are thrilled with the response from MPs who want to visit our member businesses, and those members who have already had visits have expressed how helpful they found them.

“We have noticed a noticeable increase in engagement with the Government and other important policymakers since launching our joint MP Engagement Programme initiative. These visits by the members’ local MPs are an essential component of our efforts to raise the overall visibility and awareness of the UK outbound travel sector throughout Westminster.

“Many of the MPs we spoke to were unaware of their neighbourhood travel agencies and had never had the chance to meet them before. We will make sure to maximise the number of MP visits to our travel agencies over the upcoming months because we are extremely happy with the level of engagement we have so far achieved through the launch of this programme.

“We are creating a strong caucus of supporters in Parliament by showing MPs how outbound travel companies are essential pillars of their local business communities. This should significantly bolster our argument for better ministerial representation for the industry while also serving as a reminder to those in positions of authority of the significant economic impact the travel industry has on UK PLC and the wider economy.

Source- Travel daily

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