Comment: New testing restrictions are logical

Government’s latest rules are clearer and simpler, says Not Just Travel co-founder Steve Witt

The move to impose new testing rules for anyone entering the UK is logical. It seems based on science and ensures we de-risk the concept of travel.

Having spent the weekend in a busy city, it seems to me far more probable that I would come into contact with Covid in pubs, clubs and restaurants rather than on my travels.

In fact, having been lucky enough to have travelled through a number of airports and to a number of destinations over the last couple of months, I can safely say I never felt safer.

Airports, aircraft and resorts are all operating at the very highest standards with a health and safety first philosophy as they know the importance this has and the impact on tourism.

It occurs to me that the biggest factor in the success of travel right now is clients having a great travel consultant to help them gain confidence in travel.

I watched as many other travel agents took to social media at the weekend to complain about the new rules, saying it was a disaster for travel. I read the dramatic media headlines with messages that “the travel industry is in turmoil”.

However, the reality is quite different.

The government 100% needs to stop waiting until Friday and Saturday evening to make these announcements as this causes unnecessary anguish. I’m not privy to the decision-making process, but with all of the scientific and government advisors and resources, you’d like to think they have the ability to make decisions earlier in the day, rather than wait for everyone to have gone home.

But aside from that, clients still, without doubt, want to travel. The new rules are clearer and simpler than the earlier versions.

The relative cost of a test is low. The fact that you can take a test with you and test in the resort makes it simple and convenient.

A good travel consultant is not going to focus on the negatives, the politics or the inconvenience to them. They are going to focus on demonstrating why booking with them will make life so much easier and making travel simple and giving customers confidence.

We are seeing potential customers confused and worried until they talk to a travel consultant.

A good travel consultant will walk clients through flexible booking options to ensure if anything changes the client has options and is ensured a refund.

A good travel consultant talks through how simple the process is for travel, what the client needs to know and what they need to do.

A good travel consultant will talk through the Passenger Locator Forms and even check in with clients while they are away. They will help ensure they have completed the forms correctly, have day two tests waiting and that they continue to enjoy their travels.

The reality is that travel is simple when you have a good travel consultant taking you through everything.

A good travel consultant will help keep customers reassured when negative press coverage might otherwise put people off.

That’s not just an opinion, that’s us seeing the fact that clients are booking every single day with confidence because of the relationships they have with their travel consultants.

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