A leading Scottish travel agent has demanded Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson be “more open and upfront” about their strategies for the travel industry amid the Covid crisis.
Shona Thorne, owner of Thorne Travel in Kilwinning, has been a mainstay across local and national radio and TV in recent weeks, highlighting the plight of the travel sector and urging for greater clarity from both the UK and Scottish governments.
Thorne has appeared on BBC Radio 2, Heart Radio, LBC, West FM and Clyde FM to discuss the challenges faced by travel professionals, with her latest interview coming on STV on Wednesday evening (2 September) following Scotland’s decision to imposed quarantine measures on those arriving from Greece.
Thorne, whose agency was named the UK and Ireland’s best during TTG Top 50 2018, told STV News Glasgow: “We’ve opened up our restaurants but we wouldn’t tell people not to go in and eat but we’ve opened up our travel agencies and airlines but have effectively said [through government quarantine measures] don’t fly off on holiday.
“So we need to understand what is the strategy for this year, what’s in place for us and what measures are we going to see put in place to support us and our customers.”
Thorne later told TTG: “I feel like we’re a forgotten industry. We need both governments in England and Scotland to tell us what’s going on and if they actually don’t want us to be going abroad.
“Countries like Australia and New Zealand have assessed that their foreign travel markets won’t be reopening for some time to come and so they’ve put measures in place to protect their travel industries. We need the same approach from our governments and something to work towards.
“We need answers and can’t just be reliant on announcements over which countries we can sell via a tweet. We need politicians to be upfront and honest with us over how they see the situation for the travel industry.”