CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency, Paul Charles appeared on Travel.Radio this morning for his new weekly programme, Flight Deck. The new show will see the travel and tourism expert interviewing the movers and shakers of the travel industry. He was joined by rock singer, writer and travel entrepreneur Jonny Bealby who founded Wild Frontiers, an award-winning adventure travel company.
The company specialises in small group travel to some of the most remote countries in the world.
Mr Bealby shared five of his favourite tracks with Mr Charles and described the experiences that influenced them.
During the hour-long show, Mr Charles asked Mr Bealby about the quarantine restrictions which have stopped people travelling.
Mr Charles said: “The big talking point in travel at the moment is very much around quarantine measures, lockdowns – they’ve decimated the travel sector but hopefully without leaving a long-term scar.
“How do you feel as someone who is very much a liberal-thinker wishing travel to be open to everyone about these restrictions which stop people travelling?”
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Mr Bealby described the restrictions as “extraordinary” and said that when he heard that people in England were banned from going abroad, he couldn’t believe it was happening.
Currently, England is in lockdown which means Britons cannot travel within the UK or abroad.
The lockdown will be lifted on December 2 when it is understood that a tier system will come into force.
“Covid has been an extraordinary situation,” Mr Bealby said.
“It’s been a nightmare for the travel industry as a whole and many other industries.
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“I wouldn’t want to put myself in the place of government and try to make up rules around the spread of this illness.
“I think the idea that we’re not allowed to travel is just an anathema to me. I can’t really imagine that but that’s where we’re at right now.”
Mr Bealby is hopeful that once lockdown is lifted, the restrictions surrounding travel will be lifted.
However, he warned that there are still “impediments” regardless of the government’s restrictions.
He explained: “A lot of countries don’t actually want us to travel to their countries as of yet.
“You do have the quarantine issue – which I think is fairly ridiculous if I’m being honest.
“I can’t see why we can’t have that as a much shorter quarantine with testing.”
The CEO of Wild Frontiers added that the “biggest impediment” for his business is the government’s advice against travel to certain destinations.
Quarantine exemption list
He added: “You’ve got the government’s advice against travel which I think is the biggest impediment that we face at Wild Frontiers because a lot of the countries that we run our holidays to the government advises against.
“Indeed, before Thursday’s announcement which brought Sri Lanka and Rwanda and Namibia on track – I think we only had one country that we could actually send people to that the government didn’t advise against and that you didn’t have to quarantine from if you came back from there.”
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) currently advises against all but essential travel to many countries and territories on the basis of covid risks.
Mr Bealby explained further that it’s been “stifling” for businesses trying to navigate through eight months with low income due to the restrictions.