After former prime minister Theresa May urged the government to get on with establishing an airport Covid testing regime, travel gained another unlikely and unexpected champion this week.
TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp was the latest high-profile name to highlight the sector’s plight in a string of tweets on Friday (11 September) after having to scrap a trip to Turkey next week.
“Before you ask, yes I do think it’s OK to have a ‘holiday’ in a ’pandemic’,”she tweeted, adding: “Because there’s a holiday industry which employs hundreds of thousands of hard-working, tax-paying people – livelihoods matter.”
And before you ask, yes I do think it’s OK to have a “holiday” in a “pandemic” because there’s a holiday industry which employs hundreds of thousands of hard working, tax paying people, livelihoods matter.— Kirstie Allsopp (@KirstieMAllsopp) September 11, 2020
Several travel industry figures quickly gave her comments their backing, led by Kuoni boss Derek Jones: “First Eamonn Holmes, then Theresa May, now Kirstie Allsopp – and Kirstie says it best of all,” said Jones.
He added: “Genuinely, thank you for that Kirstie. It’s heartbreaking to see so many travel industry colleagues losing their jobs.”
Responding to Jones on Holmes, May and Allsopp, Holidaysplease director Richard Dixon described them, jokingly, as a “new, improved breed of travel influencers”.
Jessica Taylor, boss of Exhale Luxury Travel, added: “Thank you for saying this Kirstie – there are lots of folk that don’t want to travel, but just as many that do.
“Every day, I am seeing excellent UK travel businesses close their doors as our industry falls to its knees. The govt needs to address this fast. Airport testing is key.”