The manifesto calls on the next UK government to prioritise investment into infrastructure which is regionally balanced, linked to global markets and is export driven to allow UK companies to compete on a level playing field.
Paul Wait, CEO, The GTMC, “These efforts are required in order to allow business travel to set the foundations of a sustainable economic recovery. Promotion of international trade supports the UK’s export led economic recovery and must also be championed more actively in Westminster and Whitehall.”
Key points of the GTMC’s manifesto include:
Promoting international trade
An immediate decision from the UK Government to commit to additional airport capacity in the South East once the Airports Commission delivers its final recommendations with spades in the ground by 2020, and a clear plan looking ahead to 2030 and beyond
Rebalancing the UK economy
A continued commitment to the financing and construction of HS2 and HS3, enhanced domestic air connections including to smaller regional airports from a South East based hub airport and a commitment to prioritise infrastructure improvements outside of the South East
Ensuring economic competiveness
The GTMC’s ultimate aim is the abolition of APD. Should any devolved administration reduce the level of APD in one part of the UK, the UK Government should match any reduction to ensure that no part of the UK is put at a competitive disadvantage.
In addition the GTMC is calling on the Government to support more Open Access on rail networks to increase competition and service, and a commitment to long term infrastructure planning
Free Wi-Fi connectivity and adequate working environments on all UK trains, removing mobile not-spots from all major transport routes, and connecting Heathrow Airport to high speed rail networks
Research from The GTMC shows strong support among business travellers for the manifesto demands. Over half (51 per cent) of business travellers have said that they would fly more frequently following a simplification or reduction of APD, with this figure increasing to almost three quarters (72 per cent) for those aged between 18-29, the business travellers of the future. Over half of business travellers support all High Speed and Crossrail projects with 85 per cent stressing the importance of HS2 linking to Heathrow Airport and 74 per cent to the Channel Tunnel.
Paul Wait added, “I believe that our policy recommendations are crucial to ensuring UK plc operates on a level playing field with competing economies. We need the necessary foundations from which to continue to play in the global market and support a sustainable economic recovery. We are taking this opportunity to ensure that the long-term needs of business travellers, who bring investment and sell UK based goods and services abroad, are met to allow companies to be productive and competitive. Put simply, business travel facilitates future economic growth.”
The GTMC, the leading professional body for travel management companies, and its members work closely with those who travel on a regular basis for business and with the addition of commissioned research polls has a raft of insight into the priorities and needs of the business traveller.