TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has urged the Government to "heed the warnings" from the Commons Transport Select Committee session on 14 April about the plight of the travel trade as the UK moves towards the summer months.
The Committee was holding an evidence session into the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce Report, which saw expert witnesses from across the sector agree – in response to a question from Labour’s Ben Bradshaw – that they were disappointed with the Government over its approach to travel.
This followed comments from Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of travel association ABTA, who told the Committee that the industry had been in a "state of suspension for well over a year" and "there's an enormous amount of work that still needs to be done to operationalise what is in the report to make the industry able get started after May the 17th."
Aviation and Maritime Minister, Robert Courts, admitted there "is work to do" and said he would continue to work closely with industry.
Manuel Cortes said in response:
"The Government must heed the warnings from the Transport Committee. The one thing we heard loud and clear was there’s simply not enough detail or clarity about the timescale on how people can travel once there's a further easing of lockdown measures.
"Public health must come first but for months now our union has been telling the Transport Secretary and a host of Ministers that there’s a pressing need to do everything possible to get travel back on its feet – without much luck.
"The inescapable truth is we must get travel going again if we are to have a travel trade at the end of this pandemic. Our high street travel trade has taken an unprecedented battering over the past year – with far too many jobs lost and businesses going to the wall.
"Now, taking a safety-first approach, the Government must come clean and tell us exactly how people will be able to travel overseas once there’s a further lifting of restrictions next month.
"Be in no doubt, our travel trade badly needs that shot in the arm so we can all move forward with a robust industry intact. There is not a moment to lose."