New lockdown in England may destroy travel sector say trade figures | Travel
British travelers who rushed to book a November vacation when the Canary Islands were added to the UK travel corridor list on October 22nd are among the tens of thousands whose upcoming trips are now being canceled.
Under the new lockdown rules in England, all non-essential travel in the UK and abroad is prohibited from November 5th to December 2nd.
News of the government’s travel ban was met with dismay by travel industry figures. Emma Coulthurst, of TravelSupermarket’s comparison site, said the decision left “not only frayed or ragged business in the sector, but shredded”.
“Just over a week ago, Grant Shapps told the UK public that they could travel to the Canaries in their spare time. Because of that permission, people, many of whom haven’t been away in months, decided to book a break in November – tens of thousands of people. The return of the Canary Islands was heralded as a glimmer of light for industry and holidaymakers. Now it’s been torn to pieces, ”said Coulthurst.
Tui, one of the UK’s largest travel companies, said customers whose vacation is canceled are eligible for a refund. Anyone who accepts a credit is entitled to up to 10% of the cost of their next vacation. In contrast, Jet2 just said it would advise customers if they were affected by the new rules, saying it was “working with the government to get the much-needed clarity” on what the rules for overseas vacations mean .
Consumer magazine Which one? Travel reminded travelers who booked a package tour that they were eligible for a refund within 14 days and warned them to wait to hear from their vacation provider instead of canceling the trip themselves. It is said that those with flight-only purchases may not receive a refund if their flight is not canceled.
EasyJet Holidays issued a statement that the company was contacting customers with bookings by December 2nd to “discuss options that include changing vacation dates (with no change fees), getting credit and receiving a full refund”. Its CEO, Garry Wilson, said, “During [the] The announcement is disappointing as there is no advice or advance warning for the travel industry. We connect with thousands of our customers to share their options and provide security. “
Ryanair customers will not receive refunds for flights in November. Michael O’Leary, the executive director of the low-cost airline, said passengers would not get their money back if a flight was operated but could change the flight at a later date without paying a fee. He said, “There are no refunds for flights that operate and travel. However, we have waived the change fees for bookings. “
Under the new restrictions, all vacation rentals in England will be closed. Rob Paterson, chief executive officer of Best Western, a group of 300 independent hotels, said the news was “a blow to hoteliers who have invested heavily in improving the security of their premises while complying with government guidelines.”
Paterson welcomed the return of the vacation program to keep the staff busy, but said it would not be enough to pay rents or mortgages.
“Lots [hoteliers] Risk failure without critical cash flow support. The recent lockdown also means a much longer recovery. So we are calling on the government to extend the VAT rebate and business rate relief, ”he said.
Julia Lo Bue-Said, executive director of Advantage Travel Partnership, which represents travel agencies, told Travel Weekly that 80% of members “will be out of money by May”.
“The ban on international and domestic travel as a result of the new lockdown measures will crucify the travel industry. While we strongly support measures to protect us all, the reality of the new lockdown means many of our travel agent members will not make it through the year without a government financial support package, ”she said.