Comment: Millions depend on tourism so keep fighting

Justin Francis, co-founder of Responsible Travel, thanks to Abta and Save Future Travel Coalition Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Abta, described the wolves last week as being at the door to tour agents and travel agents when he spoke at Abta Travel Matters conference. Although his words were meant to be a warning to the Government, they would have resonated with many in the industry. Thank you to Mark and all at Abta, for their tireless efforts in behalf of the industry. I also want to thank Save Future Travel Coalition, John Holland Kaye at Heathrow, and all those who lobbied for and worked with government. We are grateful to Travel Weekly, other trade magazines and journalists for their tireless efforts to keep us all informed about the constantly changing environment and create space for discussion and debate. There will always be many opinions on what trade representatives or reporters have said or done. But it has been a difficult and exhausting journey for them, and for their organizations. There are many millions of tourists who don't have trade representatives. I am thinking about the single father or mother with a job as a hotelier in a region of Southern Europe that has 25% unemployment, the taxi driver from Egypt who depends on tourism to pay their children through school or the poor local farmer who delivers food to tourists. Although I cannot speak for them, we think of them often. We also hear from our suppliers about news that supports local communities and the environment. As hard as it may seem, many of these people are less fortunate and more vulnerable than we are. They would be able to amplify all your calls for a sensible and urgent return to travel. Mark Tanzers' wolves could even howl in support of wolf conservation, if they could. Responsible Travels trips include support for wolf conservation. It is easy to forget that tourism can be the most joyful and precious industry on Earth. Tourism creates experiences and relationships that bring people together. This is something to be proud about and something we should all continue fighting for.

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