Independent agents across the UK have taken to our TV screens to provide advice to consumers and fight the industry’s corner amid the ongoing saga surrounding overseas holidays.
With Brits eager to hear if their summer getaways will get the government’s go ahead, agency bosses have appeared on national and local broadcasts to offer reassurance and explain the immense challenges facing the travel sector.
The owners of Deben Travel and Travel Stop in Suffolk, Bedford’s Eagle Travel and The Travel Village in Blackpool have each represented the industry in recent weeks.
Travel Village boss Phil Nuttall was the latest familiar face on our screens – appearing today (2 July) alongside daughter Jess on BBC Breakfast.
During the interview, broadcast from The Travel Village’s office, Nuttall urged the government to appoint a dedicated outbound tourism minister and called for more clarity around travel insurance.
“The consumer needs to make sure they have insurance in place and talk to their insurer. The last thing people want is to travel and not be insured. That would be the worse case,” he said.
“It’s important to clarify with your insurance policy that it’s valid if you get sick while you’re away. A good travel agent can give you that advice.”
His appearance followed that of Deben Travel boss, Lee Hunt, who revealed plans to TTG earlier this week not to sell overseas holidays this summer until the government provided more information on its strategy to restart international travel.
Since speaking on TTG’s One Week At A Time on Monday, Hunt has been quoted in both The Telegraph and Mail Online and was later approached by BBC News to discuss his decision and the latest developments around air bridges and quarantine yesterday.
“I was really nervous as I’ve never done anything like that before but I’ve had lots of nice feedback and we even had a call from someone to tell us they wanted to book with us in future,” Hunt told TTG after the BBC interview.
“It’s an issue that consumers need to be thinking about – what will the experience but like in hotels and resorts? We don’t want to send clients on a holiday they’re not willing to go on or not prepared for.”
Last week Travel Stop boss Bridget Keevil also made a TV appearance on ITV News Anglia.
Watching live, Prestige Holidays’ Shubra Halliday praised Keevil, tweeting: “The lovely Bridget [is] stating the facts about what is needed in travel and the difficulties we endure. Keep supporting your local independent travel agency."
Here is the lovely Bridget @travelstopuk on @itvanglia stating the facts about what is needed in travel - right NOW & the difficulties we endure. Part of the @AitoAgents family @PrestigeHols Keep supporting your local independent travel agency \uD83D\uDE4F\uD83C\uDFFD pic.twitter.com/qbXfMZxqJL— Shubhra Halliday (@PrestigeShubhra) June 30, 2020
Earlier in June, Sue Alexander, co-founder of Eagle Travel in Bedford, spoke to BBC Look East about the agency’s return to the high street and running an appointment policy.