With immediate and total commitment, the government must address the plight of our industry.
Their Global Travel Taskforce must enlist the help of travel chiefs who understand current legislation and who feel the full extent of our collective predicament.
With responsible collaboration, they can forge a new and credible policy that oversees a swift and secure reopening of travel to save the industry.
A clear and irreversible recovery strategy must rebuild shattered consumer confidence, while also financially protecting consumers and industry players alike.
Travel is complex. Leisure travel agents and corporate travel management companies are now championed more than ever by trusted commentators such as Simon Calder and Martin Lewis as being the recommended way to book holidays and work trips safely, and in compliance with ever-evolving regulations.
Travel is on its knees, but the show must go on. We need a clear plan, and we need it now.
The impressive progress of the vaccination programme has been a game-changer, offering substantial protection that wasn’t here last year.
We can therefore plan with far greater certainty as we are already “living with Covid”. New variants are inevitable, but due to the vaccine we will cope – as we are with the Delta variant.
Flexibility is needed, of course, as we adapt to requirements of others. Nations like Switzerland are exploring proactive problem-solving by allowing exemption from quarantine for UK arrivals who can prove complete vaccination. Ensuring we are ready with credible vaccine certification is therefore a priority.
Other destinations require diplomatic intervention, with our leaders needing to step up and negotiate safe and responsible corridors as soon as possible. These conversations need to be had now.
While leading the world in vaccinations, we are behind the curve on travel. The UK needs a rapid return to interactive global activity both in tourism and corporate travel.
If our leaders do not immediately fight our cause, the financial fallout will be catastrophic as holiday companies and airlines stagnate, and traditional corporate markets turn their attentions and business elsewhere.
Undeniably, many destinations ought to now be green. We’re ready to restart travel on a wide scale.
Even faced with new variants of concern, sensible testing and quarantine measures can allow resumption of freer travel to much of Europe, north America and island holiday destinations in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean.
Come on, Boris, it’s time to get this done.
Andy La Gette has been in travel for more than 20 years. He set up with Travel Counsellors in 2016.