Few industries have been clobbered quite like travel.
Hospitality has had a rough ride, as has the arts but at least they’re back open now. Reduced capacity is a bummer, and that’ll be squeezing already tight margins, but at least they’re open. At least they’re back doing what they love. What about travel? Nada. Nothing of significance.
Domestic travel is obviously booming, but we’re a nation of explorers of foreign lands. Brits take 60 million international trips a year. 60 million. One for nearly every person of population. And we’ve had almost nothing for over a year.
Inbound tourism is also massive for our tiny island. Americans flock here in their millions every year. I work in York, I’ve seen them. But they’ve not been here for over a year. Their money isn’t supporting our local economies, supporting jobs. Anyone who thinks Brits popping to the seaside for a few days will make up this loss of income is delusional.
Enough is enough. We’ve all done our bit. We all locked down and stayed in our homes. We’ve all had our jabs. The link between infection and death has been slashed by the vaccine. Travel to most countries on the planet can happen in a safe and risk managed way. Travel is not dangerous.
The problem is, our government made such a mess of the border policy at the start of the pandemic, they’re now more concerned with political reputational damage than following actual science. There’s more Covid sloshing around the UK than most other countries, particularly European countries. Travel is not dangerous.
Wednesday 23 June is a big day for the travel industry. Businesses from across the sector will be joining in one voice to ask the government what the hell it is playing at and how much longer they expect us to survive with no income.
There’ll be a very civilised protest in London with attendance capped at 800 (don’t get me started on that). The rest of us will have to contend with making our voices heard online. So what can you do to get involved and support the action?
1. Share photos and memories from holidays, visits to family and friends overseas.
2. Use the hashtags #speakupfortravel and #traveldayofaction in your posts.
3. Tag your friends and family in your posts, retweet and share as many of each other’s posts as possible to get more reach and social activity on the day.
4. Share and retweet posts from your favourite travel companies to show your support.
5. Join the Twitterstorm at 2pm, sharing and retweeting support for the industry.
Nearly 200,000 jobs have been lost in the travel industry since Covid hit. How many more have to go before our government starts making sensible decisions?