May 26, 2024

WTTC: Failed and damaging traffic light system must be scrapped

The World Travel and Tourism Council is calling on the UK Government to abandon its ‘failed and damaging’ traffic light system if it is to save the stricken sector from total collapse.

It says the system has wreaked havoc among consumers and businesses and warned that if it isn’t scrapped more businesses will collapse and more jobs will be lost.

The global tourism body also warned that the UK will lose out on crucial funding, investment, and spending, and that conference investment in the UK is already being pulled and moved to neighbouring European countries.

It says the UK risks squandering its competitive advantage generated by the successful vaccine rollout.

The WTTC’s call came as the travel industry prepares to hold a day of action on June 23 to put pressure on the UK Government to safely reopen international travel.

Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President and Acting CEO, said: “It’s time the UK Government abandoned the hugely damaging traffic lights system. 

“Consumers, airlines and the wider travel sector were promised a watchlist and three weeks’ notice of any changes from green to amber, and not just four days. It has been incredibly disruptive and costly for both travel and tourism businesses and consumers. It simply hasn’t worked.

“What’s needed now is a watertight government policy enabling those who’ve been fully jabbed to travel freely, and not have to self-isolate on their return. 

“Those who are not fully vaccinated should be able to travel with proof of a negative test, like what we are seeing in the EU. The travel sector needs this now if it is to survive this summer as domestic travel alone will not save the day.”