Comment: Lockdown sparks mixed reaction

Some agents seek silver linings but industry will be desperate for restrictions not to drag towards peaks, says Travel Weekly editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley

In the ongoing game of snakes and ladders the travel industry has been playing since the spring, there have been far too many snakes and precious few ladders on the board.

For the first time in many months, it had felt as though agents finally had something to cling on to and climb with the announcement of travel corridors for the Canaries and Maldives and progress towards a vaccine and testing solutions.

But as I said in this column last week, every positive came with caveats, and the impact of that upturn was barely given time to register before confidence was sent tumbling again by the government’s England-wide lockdown plans and related travel ban.

Agents in England were this week split on the implications of the move. Some saw it as “back to square one” as cash reserves dwindle further, but others sought to find a silver lining on the cloud of enforced shutdown in the shape of greater access to business grants and some cost savings from the extension of the furlough scheme.

What is beyond doubt is that everyone in the industry would prefer not to have to find a silver lining to any cloud, and long instead for some clear skies in which to finally start the rebuilding process in earnest.

All will now be desperately hoping that these latest restrictions in England and similar measures put in place by the devolved nations will be finite and won’t simply drag on towards the peaks as a perpetual brake on meaningful recovery.

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