BTA CEO Clive Wratten is calling for industry associations to join together to create a single website outlining what they do and the vital role they play for travel and tourism and the wider economy.
He believes the website would not only be a useful source of reference and information for travellers – both leisure and business – but would also help raise the profile of the industry in the eyes of politicians and policy makers.
“It would also help the industry to attract future talent as it would be a great point of contact for schools, colleges and universities,” he said.
At this week’s BTA Conference in Belfast, Wratten joined ITM CEO Scott Davies and ABTA Chief Executive Mark Tanzer in a panel discussion on the role of industry associations.
Each one insisted that their association represented a specific part of the industry, so had to operate as a separate entity but could also work together on wider industry issues.
ITM’s Davies said this was particularly true in light of the pandemic. “We all had common interests in helping the industry back on to its feet,” he said.
Wratten added: “We all represent different people with some different opinions but even before the pandemic we were starting to work together on certain issues.”
Tanzer said showing the public that the industry is making progress in relation to meeting the carbon challenge was one key area where the associations should pull together.
Asked what they might have done differently during the pandemic, Wratten admitted that perhaps the industry should have been more direct in its messaging.
“Perhaps we should have been more forceful with the politicians early doors,” he said.
He said the BTA was continuing to lobby Government and policy makers, including members of the Labour Party.