Holidaymakers will head to different UK airports if difficult rules in their country don’t allow them to fly, says the boss of the UK’s biggest tour firm.
Andrew Flintham, TUI UK director, told “it is kind of possible that if Scotland has one rule, that customers will come right right down to Newcastle and fly out of Newcastle.”
International travel won’t start until 17 May at the earliest.
The industry is worried about different rules for various parts of the UK.
Firms fear it’ll damage an already fragile industry reeling from the coronavirus lockdown.
On Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon warned that international travel wouldn’t be possible until a minimum of mid-May and “may well not be possible for an extra period after that”. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford spoke of his concerns last week.
Mr. Flintham said different approaches become very complicated as “it alters where we operate too, as customers quite clearly move around once they will travel out of varied places”.
He said: “I’ll be honest – our expectation is that there’ll be a special set of rules in several countries because that’s our experience so far. it isn’t helpful, clearly. We’d love it to be aligned.”
Other figures within the travel and hospitality industry are concerned that different approaches also impact travelers coming to the United Kingdom. Inbound tourists want to then visit the Scottish Highlands, the North Wales coast, or Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. They believe differing restrictions will damage the UK’s appeal.
Mr. Flintham added there is a requirement for certainty and clarity from the government’s Global Travel Taskforce, which is because of report its decisions on the resumption of international travel on 12 April. For an extended time, aviation industry leaders have involved a secure roadmap.
“As long as we’ve security that we’re not changing the travel advice every Thursday at 5pm because it was”, said Mr. Flintham, as he referenced how Transport Secretary Grant Shapps chose to tweet changing international advice on a Thursday afternoon.
There is a clamor for information on how the worldwide Travel Taskforce is progressing. Mr. Flintham said he believes the government is listening to industry within the various workshops that are being held, but “we haven’t seen any proposals about what they’re gathering”.
Last week, Mr. Shapps reiterated his warning it’s too early to book a far-off holiday