The World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) and UKinbound have slammed the government’s decision to kick yet more countries off the quarantine exemption list.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and chief executive, said: “WTTC is deeply disappointed that thousands of British holidaymakers have had their holidays ruined, now the UK government has added more countries to its quarantine list, including popular summer holidays destinations, France and Malta.
“While we agree public health should remain the top priority, this move will crush what little confidence there is left in the fragile travel and tourism sector.
“More than 100 of the world’s major travel and global business leaders signed a WTTC letter sent to 10 of the world’s most powerful heads of state, including Boris Johnson, calling for their leadership to coordinate the international response to save the travel and tourism sector and the global economy.
“Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has led the positive responses we have received following our plea for urgent action for a range of measures including testing and tracing instead of quarantines.
“The UK clearly lags behind other countries, which have shunned quarantines in favour of comprehensive programmes of testing for everyone departing and arriving back into their respective countries.
“International coordination and programme of testing for anyone who wants to go on holiday to help stop Covid-19 in its tracks are crucial in order to rescue three million jobs in the UK alone.”
UKInbound chief executive Joss Croft added: “The removal of France and the Netherlands from the travel corridor list is another devastating blow to the already fragile tourism industry.
“They are crucial markets for the UK and both in the top ten for spend and visits.
“We had only recently heard reports that these two markets had started a slow recovery – this obviously ends that.
“France is the second most numerous market to the UK after the USA (also under quarantine).
“Normally solvent and sturdy businesses now face a bleak future and the government must extend its support to ensure business survival.”