UK will lose GBP639 million a day with travel remaining off limits
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the UK will lose up to GBP639 million per day during July if international travel remains off limits. The WTTC wrote an open letter to the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, with the aim to urge the government to unlock the doors to international travel to avoid inflicting severe long-term damage on the country’s economy - and to prevent putting at risk the competitiveness of the UK’s Travel & Tourism sector.
The global tourism body, which represents the global private Travel & Tourism sector has estimated that the UK faces a possible GBP19.8 billion loss if international travel is effectively delayed until August. Up to 218,000 more jobs in the sector are also at serious risk of being lost, if no action is taken now - in addition to the 307,000 jobs which were lost in the UK last year.
In addition, the letter, signed by WTTC Members including TUI, Expedia, Meliá Hotels, Silversea Cruises, Iberostar, The Travel Corporation and Certares, praised the progress made with the highly successful vaccine rollout, which the government should take advantage of, to allow the resumption of safe international travel and reactivate its economy.
Four key measures were proposed to the government, which could provide a boost for struggling Travel&Tourism businesses:
- Reopen international travel by allowing fully vaccinated citizens to travel freely without quarantine, both inbound and outbound. They should be able to visit countries with similar vaccination levels and with proven low infection rates, such as the EU, the US and Canada, through a data-driven transparent approach that will help restore consumer confidence.
- Remove PCR testing requirements for travel from countries on the green list and replace with a rapid test or no test
- Require only one test for those travelling from countries on the amber list of travel destinations. PCR tests are expensive and inconvenient, and their use will continue to deter people from travelling for either business or leisure.
- Set a date to reopen international travel - to be announced on 24 June and implemented by 19 July, in line with the final unlocking of social measures in England.