Vaccine ‘no magic bullet’ to restoring traveller confidence

The availability of Covid-19 vaccines is “no magic bullet” and it will take more to restore consumers’ confidence to travel, according to a leading health and safety expert.

Callum Irvine, health safety and environment practice lead at Deloitte, said global standards to tackle the coronavirus remain crucial to restoring travel demand.

He noted: “Polls show an all-time low in consumer confidence. A VisitBritain poll showed three quarters of consumers were not expecting to travel in the near future.

“So we’re preparing the industry [to restart] but consumer confidence isn’t there yet. Could the vaccine bridge some of that gap? We hope so, but there are a lot of other factors at play.

“The UK has a vaccine, but if it doesn’t exist in destinations and authorities in those countries are nervous about putting more burden on the health system, that will have a bearing.”

Irvine told a Travel Weekly Insight Report launch event: “There is no magic bullet. No vaccine is going to be rolled out globally. So we need other things to help. The most important is the work towards a global set of standards.

“It’s important there is a broadly level playing field we can all understand and work with – a rule set that everyone can understand.”

He added: “I hope in the longer term that work on common standards around Covid could bleed into other parts of risk control in travel. For example, work needed to be done pre-Covid to achieve a global common standard on fire safety, on Legionella and on all those normal risks that haven’t gone away.

“As difficult as the situation is now, it’s important to see what we can take into the future to improve, safety and risk management in the sector.

“This is going to help us learn to deal with a whole host of health and safety-related issues.”

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