Target urges travel firms to avoid making ‘misleading’ booking claims

Travel companies must resist the temptation to make “misleading” claims of massive bookings hikes since changes to the quarantine rules were revealed.

Travel agency collective Target accused firms of issuing “irresponsible, selfish and opportunist” statements.

Many claims of an immediate bookings spike came in the wake of last Thursday’s announcement by transport secretary Grant Shapps relaxing self-isolation rules for those returning from amber list countries from July 19.

Target co-founder Jill Waite said: “It is so annoying to see figures of 400%-500% increases in bookings.

“These statements will destroy our chances of getting more financial support from the government, who will think that everything is now fine. We all know that is not the case and targeted sector specific support is still needed to get us all through to next year.

“So many people in the travel industry have worked so hard to contact their Members of Parliament and the media to get the message across as to why travel needs sector specific support.

“This opportunist statements by travel companies are irresponsible and selfish.”

A number of Target members have said they will not support any travel company that behaves in this way, she said.

Waite added: “These actions are stabbing travel agents and other travel companies in the back.

“Without sector specific support, hundreds of travel companies and travel agents will not survive until next year.

“We also need the trade bodies to make clear to their members that they must not issue misleading claims of a massive increase in bookings.”

Target also urged trade associations to commission an independent public survey to find out how many people who usually take an overseas holiday, intend to go away this year.

Co-founder Graeme Brett said: “The government seem to think that these changes to quarantine are enough to save the travel industry and the false bookings claims support them.

“They are totally wrong. We need an independent survey of customers to present to government to prove that there is still a substantial resistance from customers to travel.

“The trade bodies cannot allow the government to wash its hands of our industry’s problems.

“They have to step up the pressure and arrange an independent survey to prove our claim.”

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