An agent has called on ministers to recognise the power of statements made by people in their position after a slew of ministers took to the airwaves last week to tell people not to book holidays.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps, health secretary Matt Hancock and vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi have all offered differing, and sometimes contradictory, stances on travel in recent weeks, blurring the line between the current illegality of leisure travel and the perfectly legal act of booking future travel.
In an open letter to Shapps, Travel Counsellor Andy La Gette said that in one 10-second soundbite, in which Shapps told people not to book ahead, the transport secretary had delivered a "hammer blow" to the "complex and fragile" process of rebuilding the UK travel industry.
"Your words, magnified through the press, fall on nervous ears," said La Gette. "From your position, your words threaten to undo much of the work we have done in slowly and carefully trying to rebuild consumer confidence.
"Frankly, it is devastating, and entirely unnecessary."
La Gette stressed, as others such as Abta have before, that it would take only minor revisions to government messaging to help rather than hinder the recovery of the travel industry, and urged Shapps and his colleagues to encourage people to book responsibility to give them something to dream about.
He highlighted the range of flexible booking options and protections offered by booking travel with reputable travel sellers and suppliers, which should ensure all those who book in hope of a 2021 getaway are guaranteed a favourable outcome – a much-needed trip, or a rightly due refund.
Travel Counsellor La Gette, who posted the letter to LinkedIn, signed off with a direct plea to Shapps: "As secretary of state for transport, I feel like you are our MP.
"Those who work in the UK travel industry are your constituents, and we need you in our corner."
You can read La Gatte’s full letter via LinkedIn.