Coalition calls on all corners of the travel industry to get involved and support the activities of the day
Trade bodies from across the travel industries are coming together for a day of action on June 23 to put pressure on the UK government to support a safe return to international travel in time for the peak summer period.
#traveldayofaction will be calling on the UK government to:
Organisers and supporters of the cross-industry day of action include Abta, Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association, BAR UK, UKinbound, the Business Travel Association, Advantage Travel Partnership, TTNG, and the other 11 Members of the Save Future Travel Coalition, with other industry organisations welcome to join.
The bodies are calling on all corners of the travel industry – every airline, airport, tour operator, travel agent, supplier and partner – to get involved and support the activities of the day.
The day of action will involve an organised lobby at the Houses of Parliament – which would see MPs meet with a large number of their constituents at Westminster on a single day. There are also plans being developed for events across other parts of the UK, targeted at the Devolved Administrations. The event is intended to generate and attract national media attention and will also seek to gain traction on social media.
The day of action will take place just ahead of when the government is expected to decide on the next steps for international travel, with an announcement scheduled for June 28. The government will be reviewing both the traffic light list and also the requirements, measures and systems in place for international travel. The day’s activities will start from 12.30pm, allowing people time to travel to London for the day.
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Abta, said: “These next weeks will be critical for the travel industry. We have been working together since the start of the pandemic to make the sector’s case on what the industry needs to get through this crisis and return safely to international travel. We’re in a situation where the government is curtailing overseas travel but isn’t providing tailored support for the travel industry. The longer this goes on the more jobs, livelihoods and businesses are at risk.”
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK said: “The UK is falling behind other countries, including many of our competitors in Europe, when it comes to restarting our aviation and travel sectors. With the success of the vaccine rollout, it is vital the government takes steps to capitalise on the progress that has been made, otherwise we face doing severe long-term damage to the economy and the competitiveness of our world-leading aviation sector.
“Quite clearly the time has come for every corner of our industry – from aviation to inbound and outbound tourism and business travel – to come together if we are to have any hope of getting international travel properly up and running in time for the main summer weeks. Failure to do so would be truly catastrophic with so many tens of thousands of jobs hanging in the balance.”
Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive officer of Advantage Travel Partnership said: “We all need to be pulling together towards this one single date, so it has the greatest media and political impact. It is imperative the industry speaks with one clear voice to demand action from the government urgently on the safe recovery of travel and tourism. Not only are we trailing behind other countries on opening up travel, we are trailing behind every other British industry which has had the benefit of conforming to the domestic road map outlined by the government. This is tantamount to woeful neglect and we as industry intend to redress the balance and get government to back us as we strive to save jobs and businesses.”
Gary Lewis, CEO of The Travel Network Group said: “We urge our members and the wider outbound travel industry to get behind the day of action on June 23. The march on Westminster is in response to the shocking, illogical announcement from the government which effectively cancelled travel for the foreseeable future and went against the expectations set in the Global Travel Taskforce report.
“Until people can travel freely, and the travel industry is able to get back on its feet, we need the government to provide direct financial sector-specific support which we have been calling for since summer 2020. Our industry employs over 221,000 people and contributes £37.1 billion to the economy but our calls for support and clarity have not been met. We hope that the government takes notice of the day of action and acts on the industry’s demands before further damage is done.”
Joss Croft, chief executive of UKinbound said: “Inbound tourism is the UK’s third largest service export industry worth £28.4 billion to the UK economy and employing nearly half a million people, but our sector is struggling to survive and is in desperate need of support. We’re calling on our members and the wider tourism community to get involved in this day of action. Every conversation and engagement with your local MP on this day will have an impact and will help put pressure on the UK government to take action to support our industry.”
More information on the day and how to get involved will be published on abta.com/traveldayofaction.
The two lines unveil more itineraries as their relaunch gathers pace
Norwegian Cruise Line has added extra US sailings to its programme as part of its relaunch plan.
The extra voyages will set sail this summer from New York; Los Angeles; Port Canaveral, Florida; and Miami.
The line also announced that its newest ship Norwegian Encore will replace Norwegian Bliss in Alaska this summer, leaving from Seattle to call at the ports of Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, while offering guests dramatic views of Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.
Norwegian will return to Miami this summer with Norwegian Gem to cruise seven-day itineraries to the Caribbean from August 15, and four-day voyages to the Bahamas from November.
Now on sale are extra itineraries from New York to Bermuda starting from September 26 on Norwegian Breakaway; a cruise from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera on October 24 with Norwegian Bliss; and a sailing from Port Canaveral to the Caribbean on November 13 on board Norwegian Escape.
“With these additional itineraries, we’re providing travellers with more opportunities to set sail from some of their favorite homeports and to some of their preferred destinations,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.
“We are very excited to sail in the US again, and to sail first with our latest beautiful ship Norwegian Encore. We’re able to reintroduce her to our guests and invite them to experience her world-class offerings, as she makes her debut in Seattle and Alaska.”
Norwegian’s Peace of Mind cancellation policy remains in effect for anyone sailing on cruises embarking until October 31, 2021, allowing guests to cancel their cruise 15 days before departure.
All crew and guests must be fully vaccinated to embark on voyages up until October 31, 2021.
Meanwhile, MSC Cruises is also to resume cruising from US ports this summer following CDC approval.
MSC Meraviglia will kick off the restart on August 2, with three and four-night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas. From September 18, MSC Meraviglia will add seven-night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas and Caribbean. MSC Divina will resume cruising from Port Canaveral on September 16, offering three, four and seven-night cruise options to the Bahamas and Caribbean, including stops at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
MSC will reveal additional itinerary details for cruises on board MSC Meraviglia and MSC Divina, as well as health and safety measures and guidelines for guests. Cruises will welcome both vaccinated and non-vaccinated guests.