This is the news that the whole travel industry has been waiting for and I commend Grant Shapps for doing what was necessary to revive a sector that has suffered for far too long. Covid has sent shockwaves across the travel industry, with employment down 50 percent since March 2020 and companies reporting turnover as low as 22 percent of pre-pandemic levels for the latest financial year. We have seen loved ones separated from family members for two years and enough is enough.
The travel industry demands long term plans to be put in place that is robust enough to manage future variants and ensure the much-needed support that has been so lacking over the past two years. We need assurance that there will be no further restrictions put in place and acknowledgement of the harm red listing countries puts on consumer confidence.
Finally, there is hope on the horizon, with travel searches online almost back to pre-Covid levels and consumer confidence continuing to grow to 150 percent just in time for half term. We have seen travellers re-evaluate how they approach travel insurance, with searches for specialist medical travel insurance up over 100% on pre-pandemic levels. With these figures in mind, we must demand stability for the travel industry and acknowledge what is at stake if restrictions were reintroduced. I urge the public to book with confidence and aid in the restoration of one of the worst-hit consumer industries since the pandemic hit.
Ryan Howsam is CEO of Staysure.