It’s time to unite forces after the government’s latest blow, says Travel Weekly editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley
This was the week the industry had hoped to be gearing up for a positive July after an anticipated gradual easing of restrictions.
Instead, it was left picking up the pieces after the latest unforeseen and, for many, unfathomable government intervention.
Using a boxing analogy, the sector received not just a knock-down blow, but a low one, with ministers resorting to media leaks to communicate a move which failed to follow many of the rules and criteria set out just weeks earlier. So much for collaboration with the industry.
Some customers are continuing with their plans regardless and there may yet be more meaningful activity by the school holidays.
But last week’s events and ministerial comments since have served only to further undermine confidence and pile more pressure on a sector already on the canvas.
It is no surprise the patience of those treading the complex and diplomatic path of liaising with Whitehall finally wore thin, with a call issued for the outbound and inbound travel sectors to come out in force for a day of action on June 23.
The government clearly feels it is acceptable to indefinitely restrict the industry’s ability to trade and put businesses at risk to meet its goals for a domestic reopening. Now it has made that crystal clear, the case for targeted support is cast-iron.
Everyone in the industry should back the day of protest to showcase the impact these decisions continue to have on thousands of lives and livelihoods and the need for proper support to be forthcoming without delay.