Foreign travel advice policy is shattering confidence in travel

ABTA is urging the government to move to regionalised quarantine and introduce testing to restore confidence in travel, as new figures have revealed that 80% people are concerned about having to quarantine when they return from holiday to the UK.

ABTA - The Travel Association show the impact quarantine and foreign travel advice policy is having on consumer confidence in travel. The findings also show that, when it comes to going on holiday currently, 93% of people are concerned about potential last-minute changes to foreign office travel advice.

Research showed that the current approach to foreign travel advice and quarantine measures has shattered people’s confidence in travelling abroad. As part of the Save Future Travel Coalition, ABTA has written to the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Transport on the urgent need for specific measures to support the travel sector.

While the government has heard the industry’s call for ongoing salary support, many travel businesses will undoubtedly be left behind by the structure of the Job Support Scheme. With people not travelling, travel companies are not generating cash and they cannot afford to pay a minimum of 55% of salaries to retain jobs at this time. 

ABTA’s recent member survey showed that over 90,000 jobs across the wider travel sector are already lost or at risk, and 65% of travel agents and tour operators have made redundancies as the furlough scheme wound down. 

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA - The Travel Association, said: “The travel industry was the first to be affected by the coronavirus crisis and will be the last to recover. What travel businesses need more than anything is for people to feel confident enough to travel again, and policy decisions taken by government to manage the pandemic have served as a straitjacket to travel. The chopping and changing of quarantine measures and travel advice means what went back on sale one week is taken off again the next. This, coupled with an increasing number of local lockdowns in the UK, is creating extremely difficult market conditions for travel businesses, with travel agents particularly hurting.

“While we recognise that the government is attempting to offer some ongoing salary support through the new Job Support Scheme, in reality, it offers little help for travel businesses as they aren’t able to generate the revenue needed to cover the cost to employers.

In ordinary times, the UK's travel industry supports over 100 million trips annually (inbound and outbound), with an economic contribution of more than £60 bn, and employing close to 1m people.

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