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Published on Friday, July 3, 2020

Industry reaction to the relaxed travel restrictions

Joss Croft, CEO UKinbound
English tourism businesses, in the inbound and outbound industry, will be breathing another sigh of relief today following the official Government announcement that arrivals from over 50 countries will no longer need to quarantine from Friday 10th July. International visitors to the UK contributed over £28 billion to the UK economy in 2019 and, although the industry will not be able to contribute this level of revenue in 2020, changing the quarantine rules will allow businesses to hopefully recoup some of this lost revenue. With key source markets opening up earlier than the UK, many of their consumers will already have decided where they will be travelling this year, so it will be a long recovery for inbound tourism.

There are however a number of very important inbound markets that are still excluded, such as the USA, China and countries in the Middle East. We're also still waiting to hear if the devolved nations will follow suit, and lift quarantine. The health and safety of visitors of course needs to be the first priority, but the Government needs to understand that the inbound industry will only begin to fully recover when quarantine is removed for all markets and so will need continued financial support.

Geoffrey Kent, founder and co-chairman of Abercrombie & Kent
Lifting of travel restrictions is the lifeline the UK economy needs right now. While not only injecting cash into a ravaged travel industry, it's an essential step in lifting the mood of the nation. We need more destination specific guidance so that Brits can make informed decisions. We're already seeing an 80% increase in enquiries for our European villas and anticipate other holidays closer to home on the continent will do well. This is exactly what the travel industry needs and of course, will help the mood of the nation. We applaud the UK government for finally giving the UK travel industry the lifeline it needs to get back on the road to recovery. We know that our clients are itching to travel and get back to exploring the world safely.

BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton
We are concerned that while some airlines are beginning to announce a return to flights, many are still planning massive pilot job cuts. If airlines are allowed to continue to use the coronavirus crisis as a cover for mass cuts and reductions in terms and conditions, vital skills will be lost, the industry will not be able to capitalise on a return in demand and the economic recovery will be put in jeopardy. That's why we continue to call on the Government to put in place a roadmap for recovery that will prevent such cuts and guide the UK aviation industry back to its place as a world leader.

Charlie Cornish, Group CEO of MAG
These travel corridors will open up the chance for people to enjoy a well-earned break abroad and directly benefit the hundreds of thousands of people whose jobs depend on air travel for their livelihoods - whether they work in aviation or for the UK's tourism and hospitality businesses, which can now welcome the first overseas visitors we will have seen for months. The Government should continue to take a risk-based approach to quarantine arrangements and, where possible, build more air bridges to key tourism and business destinations with low infection rates. Each one will help protect jobs and preserve billions of pounds worth of economic activity in the UK.

Clive Wratten, chief executive for the Business Travel Association
Today's confirmation of extensive quarantine exemptions is a welcome relief for the business travel sector, which is still at risk of losing one in two jobs in coming months. Further help will be needed. The Government has responded positively to the BTA's (Business Travel Association) representations for vital business destinations to be included, with travel to key cities such as Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Paris now possible and much welcomed. The BTA has never supported quashing quarantine completely. Safety must remain paramount, and the travel corridor system is a more practical solution to the evolving global situation.

Andrew Crawley, chief commercial cfficer American Express Global Business Travel
Today's announcement is a positive step towards getting people and the economy moving again, but many in the business community are frustrated that it has taken this long. The quarantine policy was badly timed, ill-thought through and made arguably no difference to protecting anyone. It has only served to delay the economic recovery. Fortunately, there are number of busy and important trading corridors opening up. Domestic and international trade will both be vital if the country is to successfully rebound from this sustained period of disruption. The wider travel industry as well as the travel management sector must now play its role in helping companies get their people moving again with confidence.

Travel Counsellors chief commercial officer Kirsten Hughes
Travellers will of course still have concerns and questions around what the 'new world' of travel looks like and will need reassurance, insight and flexibility when booking, with the role of the trusted travel adviser being more relevant than ever. We are focused on giving our business owners all the information and tools they need to provide their customers with the latest advice and guidance, including traveller safety and wellbeing, and are working closely with our supplier partners to highlight the products and offers they can promote to their customers. In addition, new bookings for Travel Counsellors have also been supported by the our recently launched 'TC Flexible Promise', so customers have an added layer of reassurance coupled with the peace of mind provided through our financial trust.


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