Travel industry leaders optimistic summer holidays can go ahead
The President of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) says the industry is still "in the middle of the storm," but that people should have confidence booking holidays this summer.
Speaking to CGTN Europe, Gloria Guevara said the flexibility shown by travel companies means people should feel secure booking trips.
The WTTC president added that there had been a huge increase in holiday bookings for the summer after the UK government announced its roadmap for England after lockdown. Under the easing plan, international travel may be able to resume after May 17.
"That tells you certainty is key. When we have certainty, people can plan in advance and get organized."
She says the government must provide clear protocols "so that we know exactly what's going to happen, when, and how we're going to be able to travel."
This comes as London's Heathrow Airport announced it lost almost $3 billion last year and the number of passengers who passed through the hub dropped 73 percent compared with a year earlier. The figures underline how bad the impact of the pandemic has been on the aviation and travel industries.
Despite this, the CEO of Heathrow says he believes it is "very likely" people will be allowed to go on holiday this summer. John Holland-Kaye has backed the idea of digital vaccine passports, saying steps need to be taken to speed up transit of passengers through airports.
The watchdog for the global airline industry says it will launch a COVID-19 travel pass by the end of next month, to help facilitate safe international travel. The International Air Transport Association says the digital travel pass could be ready "within weeks." The app would verify whether a passenger has had either a COVID-19 vaccine or a negative test, issued by the correct authorities.