The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has welcomed Friday’s announcement by the UK government of its ‘traffic light’ system for international travel, but said it was “too cautious” and “risks losing its hard-won competitive advantage achieved by the early vaccine rollout by being too slow to allow the significant resumption of international travel.”
In a statement, WTTC president and CEO Gloria Guevera said: “Holidaymakers and business travellers will be disappointed by today’s news, with so few countries on the ‘green list’, while Europe steals a march on the UK by continuing to open up and welcome visitors back.”
Only 12 countries were included on the UK’s ‘green’ list for travel from May 17th: Australia, Brunei, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel, New Zealand, Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira), Singapore, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.
Expensive PCR Tests
The WTTC also expressed its disappointment in the government’s failure to tackle the issue of pricey PCR test.
“We are also disappointed that UK travellers are expected to pay for expensive PCR tests, even when traveling from countries on the green list,” said Gloria Guevara.
“This will make foreign holidays totally unaffordable for many families.
“We urge the UK government to work with its providers to offer more cost-effective tests for UK travellers, or accept the more affordable yet rapid and effective, antigen tests.
“After suffering the biggest fall in contribution towards GDP from Travel & Tourism of the 10 most important global markets – by a staggering 62.5% – the UK can ill-afford to be this cautious.”