Three “key critical asks” have been put forward by UKinbound ahead of the prime minister’s expected announcement on the re-opening of international travel next month.
The association revealed its submission to the government’s Global Travel Taskforce, warning that the industry cannot afford a stop-start recovery.
This would shatter international confidence in travelling to the UK, while domestic tourism would not make up the revenue gap left by international visitors.
Domestic tourists outlay just a third of the £685 on average a day in the UK spent by international travellers.
The need to remove quarantine for all but those arriving from high-risk source markets is highlighted, along with a “fundamental need” to ensure that UK borders are resourced adequately to ensure smooth processing of passengers.
This would mean the digitalisation of entry documents such as Covid certificate, testing and passenger locator forms.
The UKinbound submission covers:
- Creating a risk-based reopening framework – including both short-haul and long-haul travel and the removal of quarantine via the introduction of digitalised entry documentation
- A bilateral travel agreement with the US – the UK’s most valuable inbound travel market, where there is significant pent-up demand to holiday in the UK by vaccinated Americans
- A four nations approach to lifting restrictions – international visitors expect and want to visit multiple countries in the UK and different restrictions could mean a trip to the UK isn’t taken
Chief executive Joss Croft said: “We have one chance to get the reopening of international travel right and the prime minister’s announcement on 12 April will be make or break for the inbound tourism industry.
“How the taskforce communicates its findings and suggestions will fundamentally shape how successful the restart of international travel is.”
He added: “We 100% support a risk-based approach to reopening, but our industry simply cannot afford for just short haul to come back, or a stop start approach similar to what we saw last summer.
“There is confidence to visit the UK in markets such as the US, and there is only a short window of opportunity to maximise this competitive position.”
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