Comment: Trade hopes roadmap doesn’t turn into roadblock

The industry desperately needs the prime minister to offer hope for the summer season in his April 5 update, says Travel Weekly editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley

Members of the travel industry now well-accustomed to disrupted weekends will have shared a grim smile as it emerged that the forthcoming Easter break would be the latest to feature a twist in the saga of travel’s resumption.

Whether the prime minister meant to announce a bank holiday Monday for the initial revelation of the findings of the Global Travel Taskforce is a source of debate, and no doubt the civil servants who will be working through the weekend on the promised framework won’t have thanked him for it.

But either way, the trade will be tuning in to hear whether there remains hope for a meaningful summer season or whether the government’s much-vaunted roadmap will be more akin to a roadblock for the sector’s restart.

Industry sources believe the real detail of the plans may still be reserved for April 12 and the original publication date for the taskforce report.

But all will be hoping at least for some encouragement to allow the handbrake to be removed from customer confidence, even if it is for bookings for travel later in the summer and beyond.

One area which does seem to be gathering real momentum is domestic cruising, and we can only hope that particular forward progress is here to stay.

The lack of consistency between the lines’ approaches and requirements has proved frustrating for some.

But as we report in this week’s Travel Weekly, many agents are seizing on this golden opportunity to showcase their expertise and secure the crucial short-term business which been a pipedream for more than a year.

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