Countries, Flying, UK

Holidos and Don’ts A United approach

I defer on travel (and life) to my hero Billy Connolly which is why I think he would subscribe to my Holidos and Don’ts A United approach.

The Big Yin avows that anyone who shows any inclination in being a politician should immediately be banned from office.

Our immediate Travel future lies in the vice-like hands of two such people.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

And neither are going down a bundle with our Travel providers.

The experts

Joanne Dooey, President of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association.

And Jo White, who runs the UK and Irish Media Press Office for the Irish Travel Fair, IPW.

Over to the experts then on where we lie.

The old Shapps club

Jo Dooey takes aim at Shapps and the Scottish Government in equal measure.

She says: ‘It would be churlish not to say that any moves towards the reopening of travel regulations are welcome.

“However, Scottish travel agents and travellers still need to know that Scotland will swiftly follow suit.

‘We continue to raise the question of travel certification and how Scotland will deliver a scheme to allow the public to provide proof of vaccination status in order to fly to other countries.

“Currently English travellers can use the NHS app to prove their certification status.

“And this integrates with the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) which gives digital proof of a traveller’s vaccination, testing and recovered from COVID-19 status.

‘The Scottish Government needs, as a matter of urgency, to tell us what stage, if any, the development of a Scottish app is at.

“Currently, Scots who wish to travel, have to apply for a paper certificate.

“And we need to be operating at the same level as the other countries which have developed and are already using this technology.

One price for one…

‘While Scotlnd faces more expensive testing that in other UK nations, we persist in lobbying for the cost of testing to be at least equitable across the UK.

‘However, we look at it, 2021 has followed 2020 as a second catastrophic year for our industry.

“And the news last week that TUI has withdrawn from its Scottish base [a favourite tour provider],

“And also is cancelling a raft of holidays to some of the most popular holiday destinations up to 31 July only supports this view.

‘Travel agents have been forced to remain open for 16 months now to help their clients rebook – sometimes for the sixth or seventh time – yet are still receiving no income.

‘There is little, if any, customer confidence in travel at the moment.

“And the whole sector needs the Scottish Government to get behind a restart to international travel and boost the Scottish economy.

‘If the Prime Minister’s strategy is, from 19 July, to remove legal curbs on people’s behaviour.

“And to end restrictions and allowing people to make their own decisions, then surely people should be allowed to travel internationally with more choice.

“We remain in consultation with the Scottish Government to outline the way forward for Scottish travel.

“And the role testing and vaccination certification will play in this.”

Meanwhile in America

The 47th President of America: In Washington DC

And for those of us for whom our annual conference with our American Travel partners is key.

To driving business this is also a major concern.

As is the slow progress of opening up the US borders which is key to our travel providers.

And those for whom America is their favoured destination.

While talk that they are being selective too about those who have had the AstraZeneca jab.

And with continued confusion about quarantine.

Well, over to you Joe Biden. No hidin’… 

Prove us all wrong and Billy Connolly who might say, they’re all a load of old jobbies…

What I WILL say is.. follow my Holidos and Don’ts A United approach.

 

 

Countries, Europe, UK

Travel pursuits – UK and Scottish roadmap

How nearer are we to getting back on the road following the pronouncements from the British and Scottish governments.?

The answer is no nearer.

Let’s take what Airlines UK are saying.

They are calculating that with no significant 2021 summer Travel there will be a £55.7bn loss in trade and £3bn in tourism GDP.

While no link to the US until September will leave the UK £23m short a day.

All of which will put 574,000 jobs at risk.

The Alpha to Omega of Travel

So our message to the politicians is stop dithering, get the finger out, and put the technology in place to help us to travel.

Dip your toe into Kythera in Greece

Because we’re big on Covid passports here.

We will, of course, continue to flag up what other countries are doing… Greece and their policies and the pacesetters Israel.

We’ll continue to take soundings from our friends at the Scottish Passenger Agents Association and are happy to take up their cause.

Photo by Haley Black on Pexels.com

So it’s over to Joanne Dooey, SPAA President.

She said: ‘The concept of vaccine certificates as proof that you are protected against specific diseases is by no means new.

‘Some wishing to travel to a host of countries including parts of Africa and Central and South America and the Far East already have to do that.

‘And produce an International Certificate of Vaccination to gain entry.

‘As travel agents we’ve never experienced this system being described as divisive, authoritarian or a human rights issue.’

Test, test, test

And yes, like Joanne, we are all about the testing and I was happy to do just that to report on Bergamo last Autumn.

‘Testing will have a role to play in the restart of international travel for at least a 24-month period.

‘The current cost of PCR tests is too high to be affordable for the average family.

‘There is a need for quick, reliable and affordable testing at airports.

‘And we would welcome further research into the different forms of testing than PCR including antigen tests and lateral flow tests.”

Hear, hear.

The oldest and the best

And we here at jimmurty@traveltraveltravel.com will ALWAYS support our dream-makers, our Travel providers.

Wise words: Joanne Dooey

And a shout-out to the SPAA which was founded in 1921 is celebrating its centenary as the world’s oldest organisation representing travel agents.

It currently has 120 member companies.

All their associated agencies across Scotland including many home workers, and 92 associate members across the travel and transport industry.