“The government needs to wake up to the damage its policies are doing to the UK travel industry and the impact they will have on the wider economic recovery,” Travel Association CEO Mark Tanzer mentioned in a assertion. “A diminished holiday industry is a diminished aviation industry with fewer routes and fewer flights. That’s not how you achieve a global Britain,” he added.
Despite one of the crucial profitable vaccine rollouts in the world, the UK authorities has saved in place a vary of journey necessities for guests and Brits wishing to go away the nation.
Travelers are required to take expensive coronavirus assessments earlier than departure and upon return to England, even when they’re absolutely vaccinated and touring from international locations deemed as low threat for coronavirus by the federal government. Anyone arriving from a excessive threat nation is required to quarantine for 10 days in a resort at their very own expense.
By comparability, EU residents who’re double vaccinated have been capable of journey inside Europe with out the necessity to take a look at for months, in response to the Travel Association. “The government’s overly cautious travel requirements have led to the UK trailing behind its European competitors,” it added.
Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Heathrow was Europe’s busiest airport, welcoming a file 80.9 million passengers in 2019.
It now ranks behind main rivals together with Amsterdam’s Schiphol, Charles de Gaulle in Paris and Frankfurt International, in addition to smaller airports in Turkey and Russia.
Passenger numbers have been down 71% in August versus the identical month in 2019, and cargo volumes have been 14% weaker. Some EU opponents reached pre-pandemic cargo volumes on the finish of 2020, in response to Heathrow Airport.
Data from Airports Council International Europe reveals that Heathrow welcomed fewer than 3.9 million passengers in the primary half of this 12 months, a 90% discount on 2019.
These numbers don’t bode properly for Britain’s potential to get better its standing because the tenth hottest vacation spot worldwide for worldwide vacationer arrivals in 2019. It was additionally the world’s fourth largest spender on tourism that 12 months, trailing solely Germany, the United States and China, and indicating a excessive variety of outbound vacationers, in response to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Heathrow and the Travel Association have known as on the UK authorities to scrap coronavirus testing for absolutely vaccinated vacationers when it evaluations worldwide journey necessities on October 1.
They additionally need the present “traffic light” system reviewed and simplified. The system lessons international locations as both crimson, amber or inexperienced for coronavirus with differing guidelines in place for every class.
“The current traffic light system is an outlier and is delaying the government’s global Britain ambitions, handing rivals a competitive advantage while the UK loses market share,” Heathrow Airport mentioned in a assertion.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport mentioned the federal government’s “top priority” is to guard public well being and that it repeatedly evaluations the site visitors mild system.
“We recognize the challenging times facing the travel sector, which is why we have committed around £7 billion ($9.7 billion) of support by September 2021 and continue to work with industry to help them navigate this difficult period,” the spokesperson added.
The World Travel and Tourism Council estimated in July that the the shortage of inbound worldwide guests to the United Kingdom was costing the financial system £639 million ($889 million) a day.
“2021 is in danger of being no better than the last [year] for the travel and tourism sector [in the United Kingdom], despite the incredibly successful vaccine rollout,” WTTC president Julia Simpson mentioned in a assertion earlier this month.