Will overseas travel survive?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Yesterday was the travel industry’s day of action.

Will the travel industry get this the pandemic without more support?

Yesterday was a day when the industry was trying to point out to governments in Westminster, Belfast and Edinburgh (although – surprisingly – not in Cardiff) the desperate plight that the industry was in.

It comes a day after the aviation, Robert Courts, was supposed to turn up to an ABTA conference but who cancelled a few days before.

Some would say that Courts treated ABTA in much the same way that the industry is being treated by the government!

With disdain if not downright arrogance.

Travel is worth £37bn a year to the UK economy, is responsible for nearly 2% of GDP and supports in excess of 500,000 jobs.

So it is quite important.

But is it important enough at a time when international travel seems to be the harbinger of COVID variants which put pressure on many aspects of the NHS?

That would probably be the view of governments

 In China, the 24 cases announced on Tuesday were all linked to international travel as was the only case in New Zealand that it has had in weeks. The passenger travelled on the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.

But the travel industry could argue that those three countries don’t have the high level of complete vaccinations that the UK has. Having had a full dose why shouldn’t travel resume would be its argument.

Will that approach be enough to sway the government to open up more green destinations later today?

On another tack, the industry says that it has suffered disproportionately and not received as great a financial package as it believes it should have had. Most industries are back at work but not travel.

Pilots have been laid off along with cabin crew, ground staff, travel agents and support teams that provide the systems that make travel seamless.

In our nearest town both travel agents have closed. One might re-open, the other will not. In an industry with lots of self-employed, homeworkers, claiming assistance has not been easy because the funding has been geared to business entities rather than individuals .

Governments –both in the UK and abroad – haven’t helped by chopping and changing the requirements which have confused travellers. The decision to remove Portugal from the green list was the last straw for many.

From June 29th, Jersey has even made travel more difficult for Britons by placing it in the red list meaning that even fully vaccinated people must test on arrival and self-isolate until the results come through and then again be tested on day eight.

Will the demonstrations and marches today have achieved anything apart from a two minute slot on news bulletins?

Only time will tell.

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