The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has issued a cautious welcome but has also expressed concerns responded to Chancellor Rishi Sundak’s budget earlier this week .
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “While the extension of the furlough scheme and lower VAT rates will both be welcomed by many UK Travel & Tourism businesses, it simply isn’t enough to save a sector, which contributes nearly £200 billion, or 9% to the UK economy, from collapse.
“The UK government should capitalise on its incredible, world-leading vaccination programme. It is a national success story and one that should pave the way for the resumption of international travel, which will further aid the nation’s recovery.
“The key to saving the sector and the four million jobs it supports across the UK, is to urgently resume international travel with the priority on economically boosting business travel, before the currently proposed date of May 17. The UK Travel & Tourism sector simply cannot wait any longer and its return will provide a significant and much-needed boost to the UK economy.
“For many months now, WTTC has been calling for the introduction of a comprehensive testing regime on departure and arrival. Testing for non-vaccinated travellers, along with mandatory mask wearing and enhanced health and hygiene protocols, would allow the safe resumption on international travel, avoid the risk of transmission, save jobs and help fill the gap in the UK economy, which has been devastated by the pandemic.”