Agent petition demands dedicated minister for outbound tourism

A petition has been launched by Travel Village boss Phil Nuttall calling for a dedicated minister to be responsible for outbound tourism.

The company’s chief executive acted in the wake of multiple changes to advice on quarantine rules for travellers returning from Spain.

The petition warns that the travel and hospitality sectors have been devastated by Covid-19 crisis.

It adds: “This industry is slowly being dismantled by the lack of understanding of the travel industry from the current government and those before it.

“The Foreign Office has acted randomly, recklessly and unreasonably on several occasions with apparently no understanding of the impact their timing and wording has on this industry or peoples travel plans.

“In a country where holidays are a way of life for many people, it beggars belief that after everything we have learned from Covid-19, we are still no further to appointing a dedicated minister for outbound tourism.”

Nuttall said: “My industry has no one in government to work with who will represent us and our clients and who can communicate to us when important and tough decisions have to be made by government.

“At present travel agents, tour operators, airlines and cruise lines are completely in the dark and hear about Foreign Office decisions (such as advice against all non essential travel) from friends and third parties at all hours of the day and night.

“There are also other important processes that offer greater consumer confidence that must be updated within our industry and these can only be done in a constructive and meaningful way if we have a dedicated minister for outbound tourism.”

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