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Published on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

AITO blasts'deceitful' government over 'don't book' policy

AITO has slammed the government for the continued 'sabotage' of the UK outbound  travel industry, by still asking people not to book overseas holidays yet.

In the Easter press briefing, PM Boris Johnson said the roadmap will progress to the next stage but it is too early to say if international travel can definitely resume on 17 May.

The PM remains hopeful the ban on foreign holidays will be lifted then but still advises people to hold off from booking holidays 'until the picture is clearer.'

This is further prolonging the pain unnecessarily for travel companies, says Chris Rowles, Chairman of AITO:

"AITO's 200-plus specialist holiday companies and specialist travel agents, along with plenty of other travel businesses that sell overseas travel, have been left to rot by this deceitful and simply uncaring government," he said.

"Rather than discussing anything with the outbound industry, or offering us help - as they have with the creative arts and hospitality sectors, they've simply ignored us and treated us as if we don't exist."

"They must be hoping that staycations will mean that all those millions of pounds of furlough money are spent in the UK.  We know, too, that another round of deferrals and refunds will now commence, with no new bookings to give us any income or hope of survival."

"The astounding success of the UK's vaccination programme, with 60% of adults now vaccinated, seems pointless if it doesn't restore the freedom to travel overseas for those who seek to do so, whether to visit family and friends or to escape from the past 12 months' virtual imprisonment that we've all endured," Rowles added.

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