Comment: Is clear communication too much to ask?

We must all hope the Travel Day of Action proves effective, says Travel Weekly editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley

Good communication is a keystone of any effective crisis response, but the government has repeatedly been found lacking in this area during the pandemic.

Barrhead Travel chief Jacqueline Dobson makes that point very effectively in a column this week, while MP Huw Merriman summed things up neatly when he told a Travel Weekly webcast “we just need transparency”.

The chair of the transport select committee has been one of the few parliamentarians to have truly understood the plight of the industry and to have effectively made the case for support to his colleagues in the Commons over the past year. And speaking ahead of the Day of Action at Westminster, Edinburgh, Belfast and beyond, he urged the trade not to let up its pursuit of elected representatives with the message: “Don’t let MPs off the hook.”

Industry leaders have made it crystal clear they are not calling for a gung-ho reopening of borders without proper consideration for public health, but for a meaningful consultation with stakeholders and a clear roadmap for reopening.

With thousands of livelihoods increasingly under threat, it is therefore unforgivable that requests for a departure from the smoke and mirrors of government leaks, vague statements and opaque decision-making have continued to be disregarded.

As I write this column, there are glimmers of hope that a small corner may be turned in the days ahead with a more defined timeline and strategy for the sector’s restart. We must all hope today’s Day of Action plays its part in reminding those in power why those relatively simple steps are so essential.

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