Travel agent boss Phil Nuttall has launched an online petition demanding a dedicated minister to oversee the outbound tourism sector.
The Travel Village chief executive’s call followed widespread industry anger over the government’s decision to remove the UK’s travel corridor with Spain and enforce 14-day quarantine measures on those returning.
Trade backlash against the move condemned the short notice of the announcement – made on Saturday evening – the mixed messages between the Foreign Office and Department for Transport over restrictions to Spain’s islands and a lack of clarity over how the decision was reached, given the relatively low Covid infection rate in some areas of Spain compared to the UK.
“Many people in the UK live and work hard for their holidays and many rely on transport and travel for their livelihoods. This industry is slowly being dismantled by the lack of understanding of the travel industry from the current government and those before it,” said Nuttall.
“The Foreign Office has acted randomly, recklessly and unreasonably on several occasions with apparently no understanding of the impact their timing and wording has on this industry or peoples travel plans.
“In a country where holidays are a way of life for many people, it beggars belief that after everything we have learned from Covid-19, we are still no further to appointing a dedicated minister for outbound tourism.
“My industry has no one in government to work with who will represent our clients and us and who can communicate to us when important and tough decisions have to be made by government.”
Nuttall said he believed agents, operators, airlines and cruise lines have been left “completely in the dark” over important government decisions relating to travel and hear vital updates “from friends and third parties at all hours of the day and night”.
“There are also other important processes that offer greater consumer confidence that must be updated within our industry and these can only be done in a constructive and meaningful way if we have a dedicated minister for outbound tourism,” he urged.
“Please help us to help you to build a better travel industry for the future.”
To lend your support to the petition - click HERE