Travel agent Phil Nuttall has called for the government to introduce a dedicated tourism minister, during an appearance on BBC Breakfast.
Nuttall, owner of Travel Village in Blackpool, appeared on the TV programme on Thursday (2 July) when a film crew visited his agency.
“It has been horrendous but there’s light at the end of the tunnel – it is a long and unclear tunnel,” he said of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
“One of the big problems we’ve got is that the government isn’t helping – we have no direct minister for outbound tourism in a country where people want to travel; as consumers and travel agents we need to see the government make that appointment to cut through the corridors of power.
“We’ve had three or four months now of dealing with nothing but soul-destroying situations – giving refunds and trying to advise people on what’s the right thing to do.”
Nuttall also stressed the importance of checking travel insurance to TV viewers before they went on holiday.
“The consumer needs to make sure they have insurance in place and talk to their insurer,” he said. “The last thing people want is to travel and not be insured. That would be the worse case.
“It’s important to clarify with your insurance provider that the policy is valid if you get sick while you’re away. A good travel agent can give you that advice.”
Nuttall also emphasised to viewers how holidaymakers’ money would be safe if they booked an Atol-protected package holiday with a travel agent.
Along with retail manager Jessica Nuttall, he also answered viewers’ questions on subjects ranging from insurance to the current FCO advice.