The travel industry has broadly welcomed the Prime Minister’s « cautious but irreversible » changes in easing the lockdown, but renewed calls for affordable testing, collaboration and tailored financial assistance Graham Donoghue said: « The prospect of one Reopening to individuals and households in April is welcomed by many as tourism is such an important part of so many local communities. » Self-catering accommodations are arguably one of the safest ways to travel, so it makes perfect sense to allow this first. A vacation rental can limit contact with others as people travel in their own vehicles and there are no shared facilities. “In the past few weeks we’ve seen a sharp spike in bookings for later this year, reflecting the nation’s growing trust as well as possibly the weariness with the lockdown.” Derek Jones, Kuoni CEO, went to Twitter to add comment: « So Step 3 is the key to international travel. At least five weeks after Step 2 and no earlier than May 17th I expect the trip to return with testing, corridors and quarantine, but this is progress. The key is now using the three months to deal with affordable tests, « said Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO of the Advantage Travel Partnership While appreciating the need to reopen schools and socialize safely, urged the government to recognize the vital role the travel industry will play in economic recovery. As a lead signatory to the Save Future Travel Coalition, in an open letter to the government, an affordable testing regime is « essential » to sit alongside health passports to boost the sector, along with tailored financial support and advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office to return to a regional base. « In addition, we hope that the roadmap for the business travel opening and the meeting and events industry is taken into account and all of these measures are included in the government review on April 12, » she said. that after a year of Zero Income for travel agents across the country, we can now work with ministers to further boost the economy and get travel back to life safely and sustainably. We know that there is a demand for a well-deserved vacation as well as for reuniting friends and families, and we ask the government to enable the sector to help itself, protect jobs, stimulate the economy and give people the vacation they have dreamed of for over a year. « Industry associations and agency groups welcomed the Prime Minister’s pledge to replace the Global Travel Taskf by April 12 orce while others said they didn’t think his plans went far enough. Dale Keller, executive director of the UK Board of Airline Representatives (BAR UK) said it will provide its full support and expertise to the revitalized Travel Taskforce to deliver « the most deliberate and effective plan for our sector ». « Our pragmatic request from the government is to provide targeted support to a sector that supports around 960,000 jobs and generates £ 57 billion of GDP (direct, indirect or induced impact) until we are approved to reopen. » « There is much work to be done and the air industry stands ready to offer the best talent to the government to find an exciting new flight path for aviation and international travel. » Flight Center said it does not believe that the roadmap had gone far enough and called for « much needed clarity ». to avoid mass layoffs within travel. « The travel industry has been on its knees and unable to act since the virus hit our shores last year. Flight Center predicts that thousands of jobs could be created in the travel industry if the government fails to come up with a timely exit strategy across the country This would be an astronomical blow to travel that should prepare to support the public ahead of one of the biggest impending travel booms in recent history, « a spokesman said. In a statement, Flight Center said 160,000 jobs have already been lost and many companies have closed their doors permanently, according to recent data from the National Statistics Office. « We urge the government to act on this data to provide a framework for how the expert travel industry can begin to recover and safely deploy travel-hungry Britons overseas again. » It « implored » the government, the Global To reinstate the Travel Taskforce with a panel of « seasoned travel professionals » and to reassure them that they are working on a recovery plan for the restart of tourism. « We still believe fundamentally in the government. We must revisit our demands for a world leader, international and hear a common framework for pre-departure tests at airports to increase confidence in travel, and we call on ministers to extend the vacation program to support the many workers in this hardest-hit industry beyond April Only then do we believe that we will find a workable path out of these recent measures will be. « Mark Tanzer, General Manager of ABTA, said it was pleased to see that the government had responded to our demands to work with the industry on a concrete road map for travel. He welcomed the news that the Global Travel Taskforce will meet again, to work with ABTA and the travel industry on a plan to reopen travel, but repeatedly requested tailored financial support. « Despite the prospect of travel resumption, we’re renewing our call to the Chancellor next week to use his budget to help travel agents and tour operators Providing tailored financial support and realizing the urgent need for financial support for tour operators if they are to survive the weeks ahead. “Joss Croft, CEO of UKInbound, said that ‘it is crucial that the dialogue continues and the government consults the travel industry.” As part of their review, we would like the UK government to work with the decentralized nations as it is a fragmented approach this will prevent your recovery. To save the summer business the government must act quickly as it will be some time before consumers can regain confidence in booking a vacation to the UK and the industry can prepare for it. « It is clear, however, that we are months away from a fresh start abroad, and many months before we see a significant recovery, so the industry needs further support. » So that our sector can survive long enough to keep up the economy In support of UK recovery we ask the Chancellor to hold leave for as long as possible There are restrictions, sector grants and corporate rate relief extended when he announces the budget on March 3rd. « By Louise Longman, Editor (UK)
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