The government is planning a major communications and marketing blitz in an effort to boost consumer confidence in both outbound and inbound travel.
Key objectives include demonstrating the UK is safe, that it has clearly defined measures to protect travellers and visitors, that it will seek to establish new travel corridors, and that government can and will be adaptable and flexible to meet new challenges posed by the Covid crisis, the long-awaited report of the government’s Global Travel Taskforce reveals.
With regards to outbound travel, the government will run a communications campaign to publicise the aviation sector’s compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation guidance on air travel.
The report notes "strong demand" from UK residents to travel abroad in 2021, while recognising new waves of Covid infection, existing and evolving self-isolation requirements, and stringent Foreign Office travel advice, were "significantly influencing" consumer decision-making.
The CAA will be tasked with developing "a system of assurance of air travel", evidencing the industry’s implementation of international guidance to increase consumer confidence. Public Health England will also be involved in promoting this message.
"We must accept there will be a risk that the UK and foreign governments have to make changes to travel restrictions at short notice in response to the public health requirements," reads the report.
"Industry and travellers have to take responsibility to ensure they have adequate insurance and measures are in place to mitigate these risks, including being prepared to stay overseas for longer than planned.
"Addressing these issues, as well as seeking to establish travel corridors between safe areas, will be key to recovery."
Additionally, the report also stresses a "flagship overseas marketing campaign", led by VisitBritain, will be "critically important" in converting demand for inbound travel to the UK into bookings by promoting the UK as an "attractive and safe" place to visit.
A "clear" new public health information campaign, the report says, will be "critical" to ensure travellers can make informed decisions.
This will involve promoting the NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app and the UK’s test and trace efforts; ensuring "clear visibility" of the VisitBriain Good to Go stamp; and providing clear information on Covid restrictions in different parts of the country, potentially through an interactive map, with information offered in "key languages".