Consumer confidence for overseas travel is growing following the government’s latest update on travel corridors but "no-one should get carried away”, according to dnata Travel Group boss John Bevan.
Bevan said dnata’s brands welcomed the “more prudent, risk-based approach” to restarting international leisure travel – with a new traffic light system set to be introduced alongside a list of countries to which Brits will be able travel to without quarantine.
As a result of the news, which emerged late on Friday (26 June), dnata brands had seen a “definite upward trends” towards interest in short-haul destinations and 2020 departures, Bevan said. Although he cautioned the current industry situation as being “at best, the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end”.
“Success metrics are a long way off where we need them to be and our industry remains in a deep hole,” he explained.
There is still “too much confusion” around guidelines and what quality of experience will be offered in each destination, he said - calling on Westminster to deliver greater clarity on the FCO’s current advice against all non-essential overseas travel.
“Everyone wants, and our industry desperately needs, more clarity,” Bevan added.
He also played down reports in the consumer press at the weekend claiming some operators had seen booking “explosions”, saying those stories “need to be taken with a pinch of salt”.
“We all still have a mountain to climb and the travel industry will take years to recover from the damage caused by this crisis. The government urgently needs to outline what other forms of stimulus it can offer.
“Suspending Air Passenger Duty on all new bookings for 12 months would be of particular value to the long haul sector, for example.”