GTMC targets lobbying boost

A consortium of business travel agents is considering bringing in its first PA agency to lobby against further hikes in air passenger duty.

The Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) wants to beef up its lobbying firepower and is understood to be considering its options.

Gild chairman Paul Allan and chief executive Philip Carlisle are understood to have told members that they want to hire a lobbying firm because ‘we need to be talking to civil servants’.

The GTMC’s annual conference took place in Doha this week, and issues such as environmental awareness  and air passenger duty were high on the agenda .

The latter is a major concern after Chancellor Gordon Brown increased air passenger duty in February, in a drive to make the airline industry pay for its environmental  impact.

Campaigners have called for green taxation to be ratcheted up even further and the government could respond by raising taxes such as air passenger duty. The duty currently stands at £10 per short-haul flight rising to £80 per first class long-haul journey.

The GMTC was founded in 1967 as the Guild of Business Travel Agents. It renamed in 2005, extending its functions beyond representation into active crusading on behalf of the sector.

Members include American Express Corporate Travel Service, Capita Business Travel, Chelsea Travel Management, Commodore International Travel and Expedia Corporate Travel UK.

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