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Comment: Travel needs a roadmap and support

If the government insists on treating us differently it must support us financially, says Travel Weekly editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley

The industry is on tenterhooks waiting for Boris Johnson’s announcement about the lifting of Covid restrictions next week.

I’ve had countless calls with people finishing the conversation with: “We’ll know more after February 22”. But will we? We still aren’t sure the resumption of travel will be mentioned in the roadmap out of lockdown.

So it’s unsurprising lobbying by the sector is mounting, whether it be the Travel Industry Alliance, the #SaveFutureTravel coalition or, most recently, the Save Our Summer campaign.

While added pressure on government is welcome, it’s debatable how many campaigns we need. We now have one calling for travel to open on May 1 as another calls for sector-specific support because the industry is effectively shut down. They contradict each other, yet many firms have signed up to both. This only serves to fragment our industry and, crucially, our voice.

Messages should be combined: Give us a roadmap to travel opening and outline how you will support our industry until we can restart.

Asking for the overseas travel ban to be lifted on a specific date seems futile. The government has to follow the science, so will never to commit to that.

If ministers are saying travel is currently illegal, and warning against booking for the summer to boot, then the industry essentially remains locked down.

If that is the government’s stance, it has to treat us differently – and support us financially.

Comment from Travel Weekly February 18 edition

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