By comparison, EU citizens who are double vaccinated have been able to travel within Europe without the need to test for months, according to the Travel Association. “The government’s overly cautious travel requirements have led to the UK trailing behind its European competitors,” 它添加了.
Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Heathrow was Europe’s busiest airport, welcoming a record 80.9 百万乘客 2019.
It now ranks behind major rivals including Amsterdam’s Schiphol, Charles de Gaulle in Paris and Frankfurt International, as well as smaller airports in Turkey and Russia.
Passenger numbers were down 71% in August versus the same month in 2019, and cargo volumes were 14% weaker. Some EU competitors reached pre-pandemic cargo volumes at the end of 2020, according to Heathrow Airport.
Data from Airports Council International Europe shows that Heathrow welcomed fewer than 3.9 million passengers in the first half of this year, 一个 90% reduction on 2019.
These numbers do not bode well for Britain’s ability to recover its status as the tenth most popular destination worldwide for international tourist arrivals in 2019. It was also the world’s fourth largest spender on tourism that year, trailing only Germany, the United States and China, and indicating a high number of outbound travelers, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Heathrow and the Travel Association have called on the UK government to scrap coronavirus testing for fully vaccinated travelers when it reviews international travel requirements on October 1.
They also want the current “traffic light” system reviewed and simplified. The system classes countries as either red, amber or green for coronavirus with differing rules in place for each category.
“The current traffic light system is an outlier and is delaying the government’s global Britain ambitions, handing rivals a competitive advantage while the UK loses market share,” Heathrow Airport said in a statement.
Budget carrier EasyJet (ESYJY) said in July it has shifted some planes from Britain to Europe
, where demand was stronger
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said the government’s “当务之急” is to protect public health and that it regularly reviews the traffic light system.
“We recognize the challenging times facing the travel sector, which is why we have committed around £7 billion ($ 9.7 十亿) of support by September 2021 and continue to work with industry to help them navigate this difficult period,” the spokesperson added.
The World Travel and Tourism Council estimated in July that the the lack of inbound international visitors to the United Kingdom was costing the economy £639 million ($ 889 百万) a day.
“2021 is in danger of being no better than the last [年] for the travel and tourism sector [in the United Kingdom], despite the incredibly successful vaccine rollout,” WTTC president Julia Simpson said in a statement earlier this month.