Aito has called on the government to make it clear consumers can still book holidays “without breaking the law”.
In an eight-point recovery roadmap for the outbound sector, the association criticised the government for “pushing very strongly the staycation message while frightening people into not booking – or even into cancelling – an overseas trip; yet staycations are not yet legally permitted either”.
Aito pleaded: “Please, ministers, make it crystal-clear that holidays to look forward to can still be booked without breaking the law."
It added: “We accept that the current lockdown is unlikely to finish until the end of March, out of necessity and to protect everyone. But this does not mean that booking a summer holiday is unlawful.
“Overseas summer holidays can still be booked, as they would be in a normal year, and this key message must be communicated clearly and accurately by government ministers, MPs and the media to allow us to trade.
“It’s wrong to panic people by miscommunication into believing, incorrectly, that the law allows only staycations in the UK to be booked.”
Aito chairman Chris Rowles warned of the danger of off-the-cuff remarks by politicians. “We urge all cabinet ministers in particular to pay attention to our 8-Point Road Map and not to make flippant remarks that, as in times of war, cost jobs and lives.”
In its proposals, Aito urged against quarantine proposals, say they “will become unnecessary” with the increase in cheaper and more accurate airport testing.
Aito also called for the opening of air corridors in May and for “true” Covid-proof travel insurance.