The SPAA recently hosted a number of Scottish MP’s for dinner from across a good part of the political spectrum at the Houses of Parliament. The aim of the evening was to raise the profile of the SPAA and engage with decision makers at a time when the political and travel landscapes are both challenging and complex.
There was no shortage of subjects to discuss, including air departure tax, airline insolvency, sustainability in tourism, airport strikes, Glasgow Airport proposed rail link, Heathrow expansion and rail franchises, to name but a few. Naturally it was difficult to get into too much detail in the time frame available, however this dinner was a continuation of previous events held in Holyrood with various ministers.
We were joined by representatives from ABTA, GTMC, Airlines UK and the Airline Operators Association to ensure we continue to present similar views and messages from across the travel industry to politicians both in Holyrood and Westminster.
However despite a number of invitations being sent, the lack of SNP representation at the evening was hard to understand, given the influence and expertise that the SPAA bring to the travel trade and to Scottish business. Those in attendance however were reasonably well informed on travel industry issues, and whilst we are not going to influence hearts and minds with one dinner, nonetheless the event was a great success and our members’ interests were well served during the evening by the various representatives from both the SPAA and trade colleagues.
My sincere thanks to Bill Grant MP for helping us to arrange such a prestigious venue for our first ever Westminster event.
Ken McLeod - SPAA President