The easing of US testing requirements is a good opportunity to remind travellers what they’re missing, says Travel Weekly’s Lucy Huxley
The retention of pre-departure testing for US arrivals when so many other countries had long dropped such requirements mystified many on both sides of the Atlantic.
And as recently as last week, industry leaders at the IPW Conference in Orlando admitted they had no timeframe for when President Joe Biden might ease the curbs.
When news broke last Friday that the restrictions were finally to be lifted, it was a huge relief for US specialists who felt they had been playing the restart game with one hand tied behind their backs and reported an immediate upturn in interest from those previously put off by cost and uncertainty.
It was also a symbolic moment, as the last of the UK’s major mainstream markets finally felt fully open to visitors.
With the prevailing narrative in the media still of a disrupted and chaotic resumption of international travel, it is important to capitalise on positive headlines when they come and remind people what they have missed over the past two years.
Challenges will undoubtedly remain throughout the summer as resourcing issues in the UK and Europe continue to be resolved and the impact of the rising cost of living becomes apparent.
But with travel spend and intention still continuing to buck the trend of contraction in every other walk of life, it is vital to push on open doors and nail down bookings while sentiment remains robust.
As we reported in this week’s edition of Travel Weekly, first-class service and proactive marketing are allowing agents to secure bumper bookings and feel confident about expansion. Long may those sort of headlines continue.
Comment from Travel Weekly, June 16 edition