Will Government lifeline be enough to stem the flow of travel sector distress?

Ian Bell, head of travel and tourism at RSM, responds to the latest announcement to remove pre departure testing: ‘During the current peak booking season, the Government has thrown the travel sector a lifeline by removing the need for passengers to test before travelling.  The swift reintroduction of the measures in December last year dented consumer confidence to book and travel over the festive period which has been a further significant blow.

‘This policy change from the Government is welcome news. It will help to restore consumer confidence and generate much-needed cash for travel businesses ahead of the crunch point at the end of March when many businesses will need to demonstrate their financial viability to renew ATOL licenses for the year ahead. 

‘It’s good to see that the Government has responded to calls from the industry to remove the requirement for pre departure testing. However, if they are serious about supporting the travel sector then a suite of tailored measures, including industry specific grants, is still needed to prevent widespread distress across the sector.’