Published on Friday, July 3, 2020

'Travel advice update not enough to salvage lost revenue'


Following the Government's announcement on the relaxation of the quarantine for 59 countries, TravelMole spoke to Julia Lo Bue Said, CEO at The Advantage Travel Partnership.

Are your members getting ready for a rush in bookings?
We already know from our research that there is a significant pent up demand from travellers and this change in advice will enable our members to sell travel to those customers who have been waiting to book. We hope for our members that it will be a busy weekend!

What will you be doing to help your members?
The marketing collateral that has been created to promote destinations from the list where there is no quarantine on arrival and the checklist that we have devised will help members confidently assist their customers and cut through any confusion now that travel is a more complicated experience. It is also worth bearing in mind that the change in advice is only helpful for our members in England and we hope the devolved administrations act in line with the government to allow all UK travellers, and agents to benefit from these changes.

Has this come just in time for the school holidays?
The update in the advice and the exemptions is a welcome move forward and will definitely help with pent up demand for school holidays, however it is not enough to salvage the loss in revenue our members have incurred over the past few months.

What about Portugal not being on the list?
Whilst it is disappointing that such a key destination for UK holidaymakers isn't on the list, when destinations like Madeira and the Azores are - which adds to the confusion for consumers - we await further government advice once this has been reviewed. It's also important for us and our members to have an understanding of how these destinations have been selected to explain to customer when they are enquiring about booking their trip.

Are consumers still nervous about booking?
We will ensure our members are best placed to provide as much guidance to their customers about the entire customer journey but inevitably, as we are still in a pandemic, there will of course be some customers who may not feel comfortable about travelling just yet. In a time of uncertainty where there will be more questions than ever, booking through a travel agent will provide the British public with an added layer of reassurance and peace of mind as being able to pick up the phone and speak to a travel expert will help put travellers' minds at ease."

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