<p>Lisbon, formerly on the green list</p>

Lisbon, formerly on the green list

Travel industry demands government action over holidays

Events are happening all over the country

Cathy Adams
Wednesday 23 June 2021 10:07
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Workers from across the travel industry are today lobbying the government for support as part of a Travel Day of Action.

People from across the industry, including travel agents, pilots, tour operators, aviation workers and cabin crew, are among the thousands who will “speak up for travel” at events across the UK today.

The day has been organised by a brace of industry groups, including Abta, Airlines UK and the Business Travel Association.

They are asking the government to capitalise on the vaccine rollout by safely reopening travel for the summer season and provide tailored financial support to businesses.

According to March 2021 figures from industry body Abta, as many as 195,000 jobs have been lost or are at risk in the travel industry.

The UK travel industry was once the most dynamic in the world, sending millions of travellers abroad and generating £53bn in domestic spending.

The inbound travel industry was also a thriving one. According to Abta, each year 41 million tourists, travellers and business people visit the UK, spending £28.4bn.

London, the world's most connected city in 2019, saw an 88 per cent decline in connectivity between April 2019 and April 2021, says Abta.

The Travel Day of Action has two main aims.

The first is for the government to “properly implement” the traffic light system, and to expand the green list “in line with the evidence”. Additionally, the industry wants the government to remove quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers from amber countries.

The second is to provide a package of tailored financial support, including extending the furlough scheme until April 2022.

“It is now or never for the government to reopen travel and save what is remaining of the summer season, not just for families desperate to get away but the tens of thousands of jobs which rely upon this once thriving sector,” said Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK.

“Airlines are at the absolute limit of what they can borrow and without a genuine reopening this summer they will require government support to survive.

“The best way to save UK aviation is to enable a return to the skies – safely – by taking advantage of our vaccine dividend and allowing fully vaccinated passengers to travel without restrictions from amber and green countries. This is now happening across much of Europe and the UK is in grave danger of needlessly falling behind.”

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