Merriman pledged to continue pushing for more significant reopening of international travel from the UK to allow the industry “to trade”, and if this didn’t happen he would call for more financial support for the sector.
He agreed the travel industry was one of “a few sectors left behind” during the pandemic and “should have had a lot more support”.
Several delegates complained that they had received no grants from their local authorities or much lower payouts than other types of retail businesses, such as hairdressers.
Merriman urged Aito members to keep lobbying their MPs and not to be put off if they just received a “standard” reply that did not address their points.
“The key is to get hold of your individual MP – ensure they see what the problems are and ask what they are going to do to take it up with ministers,” he said. “Make sure they show an interest and come to the organisation and do something about it.”
Merriman said backbench MPs could…