As the French government introduced requirements for visitors to tourist attractions to have a COVID pass to show vaccination status, Joanne Dooey, president of The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), the professional body for travel agents and the travel sector in Scotland says,
“Professional travel agents with decades of experience can’t keep up with the everchanging rules and regulations in the UK and in each different country around the world – so imagine how confused and perplexed travellers feel at all this uncertainty.
“The news that countries are introducing forms of COVID pass leaves Scots disadvantaged once again, as we still have no indication of when Scotland will have its own digital app to prove vaccination status. There’s uncertainty about even if there is one in development. We’re currently faced with an analogue paper system in a digital world when English visitors have the NHS app which seamlessly dovetails with the EU version.
“What we can be 100% certain about is that travel agents and the entire travel sector in Scotland has been decimated and is in desperate need of support from governments who seem deaf to the situation and blind to the long term damage to our economy if we lose further connectivity with the rest of the world. Travel agencies must keep their doors open to act purely as information bureaus at a time when they have had no income to talk about since late 2019 and no prospect of attracting revenue until UK and global leaders agree a strategy for the restart of international travel.”
The SPAA, founded in 1921 is celebrating its centenary and is the world’s oldest organisation representing travel agents. It currently has 120 member companies, all their associated agencies across Scotland including many home workers, and 92 associate members across the travel and transport industry.