Global Travel Taskforce to report back on April 12
The industry needs a stable tiered system to restart travel and avoid the confusion of last summer, ABTA has said.
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA said: “ABTA has been urging the government to restart international travel using a tiered approach which manages risk, so we welcome confirmation that travel will reopen under a new risk-based “traffic light” system. However, we need to see the details in the Global Travel Taskforce report before this can be assessed fully.
“A priority for the industry is a more stable system which avoids the situation of last summer where travel to many destinations was quickly turned on and off. It is vital that the Government clarifies how the transition between green, amber and red levels will work, both to help travel businesses plan ahead and to provide reassurance for travellers. Destinations should not be suddenly closed off unless variants of concern dictate that this must happen.
“The goal must be to have unrestricted travel to ‘green’ destinations. At present the costs of testing may be a deterrent to many UK travellers, so the Government must ensure that testing is required only where the public health risk justifies it, and that a cost-effective and efficient testing regime is in place.
“Our research shows that 63 per cent of people hope to book a holiday abroad and those who are keen to travel can book with confidence now. Booking a package holiday through an ABTA Member will offer the best level of protection should circumstances change, with many Members currently offering extremely flexible booking terms.”
Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound said “We welcome the Prime Minister’s comments regarding the reopening of non-essential international travel and the news that a risk-based, traffic light approach will be implemented. This was a key ask in UKinbound’s submission to the Global Travel Taskforce and its inclusion is a clear sign that Government is listening to the industry.
“When the taskforce’s full report is published on the April 12 we need to see a robust four nation approach to reopening and the intention to develop bilateral and multilateral travel agreements with valuable international markets such as the US. A stop-start restart is one of the biggest threats to our sector and it’s therefore crucial that Government implements the recommendations of the taskforce and continues its dialogue with industry, which will aid consumer confidence to travel to and holiday in the UK. But the restart will not happen overnight, and it will take many, many months, and, as long as restrictions are in place at our borders, businesses will struggle to survive, warranting the need for urgent sector specific support.”