Governments around the world are starting to lift travel restrictions along with testing and quarantine requirements. This is being hailed by travel industry pundits as a great re-opening and an opportunity not just for a return to 'normal' but to create an expansion in international leisure travel to soak up supposed pent up demand. I get it, two years of on-off lockdowns has made us all want to shake off our chains and fly free again. But there's the rub, fly free.
We all know deep down that there is no longer such a thing as 'fly free'. The earth can no longer stand the pressure this has on our atmosphere, it probably never could, and under vaccinated poorer countries are not ready for an influx of careless travellers wanting to 'get away from all that'. So what has this to do with a small boat charter company in Devon. An interesting fact crossed my consciousness a few weeks ago, Brit's spend twice as much travelling overseas as visitors do while in Britain. The size of the tourism deficit is staggering, something like £35B. There is no doubt that the UK hospitality and leisure market is suffering and we need to get the visitors back, but we also need to persuade Brit's to holiday in Brit.
This gives a win, win, win. Lower carbon emissions use up less of the fast dwindling carbon budget, it helps protect vulnerable populations in destination countries, and it provides support for the UK hospitality industry. So let's stop calling them staycations and call them what they are, holidays.
'Going anywhere interesting this year?'
'Yes as it happens, I'm sailing around the British Coast on a traditional Thames barge, with all mod cons and plenty of time to learn to sail, explore the coast and harbours and to relax.'
Sounds good , no? If you think so please visit www.snark.limited for more information and on line booking.
p.s. And yes I also get that destination countries rely on income from tourism to recover their economies which is why I strongly support continuing with our international development commitments and not falling into the 'spend it at home first' camp.