Travel Industry Group Urging People to ‘Ignore Government Advice’ & Book Summer Trips

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While the United Kingdom has seen travel restrictions put in place since March last year to slow the international spread of the coronavirus, the travel industry has taken a huge hit and is now demanding the government acts to ensure holidays go ahead this year.

Travel companies are encouraging the British public to ignore government travel advice as part of a pressure campaign to ensure people will be able to secure vacation bookings for the coming summer.

The Save our Summer (SOS) group is demanding that Westminster make sure both domestic and international trips are possible from 1 May. The group is also pledging to pay back anyone who books through its members if government Covid-19 restrictions make travel impossible.

“Every travel provider who signs up to SOS guarantees that a customer will be offered a refund or be able to change their travel dates if travel is cancelled / not possible due to government Covid-19 restrictions, save in the circumstances where an airline has not refunded your travel provider,” according to the SOS website.

Over 120 travel companies, including DialAFlight, EasyJet Holidays, and Trailfinders are backing the campaign “united in outrage” over the government’s failure to support the travel industry amid the pandemic.

“UK citizens should ignore government ministers’ conflicting advice and book summer trips with confidence,” co-founder Paul Charles from the PC Agency public relations firm, told Sky News on Monday.

​True Travel Co-founder Henry Moore warned that the travel industry “stands on the edge of a precipice today.”

“There must now be a clear roadmap set out from 1 May onwards specifically for travel, in order to reinstate consumer confidence and protect millions of jobs which hang in the balance,” he said.

SOS is also urging the government to replace quarantine requirements with a widespread testing system, with rapid testing available upon arrival a well as departure.

​Chair of Cumbria Tourism Jim Walker said he’s “very optimistic about Easter,” which he described as a “very important” time that “will set the stall out for us in the year ahead.”

As Cumbria lost £2 bn in tourism revenue last year and with travel typically contributing around £3 bn to the local economy, Walker said he hopes hotels and guest houses will be able to re-open as soon as possible.

“At a time when there has been no income our hospitality businesses have spent thousands on making sure they are Covid-safe,” he added.

This comes as the UK has introduced mandatory quarantine for arrivals in hotels from countries deemed to be a “high risk” virus hotspot.

Domestic tourism dropped from £91 bn in 2019 to £30 bn in 2020 as coronavirus travel restrictions put the brakes on holidays.

By Sputnik News

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