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Vale travel agent welcomes new travel traffic light system


Sam Smith Travel in Cowbridge received hundreds of summer holiday enquiries over the Easter weekend, following the UK Governments announcement of a traffic light system for international travel.

The plan will add green and amber categories of countries to the current red list, depending on how they are dealing with coronavirus.

However, travel companies were disappointed with the lack of clarity on whether foreign travel will reopen on May 17.

Suzanne Cumpston, sales and commercial manager at Sam Smith Travel in Cowbridge, called the new traffic light system “hugely important” and “a good thing”.

Ms Cumpston said: “The whole of the travel industry probably wanted more from Boris’s speech yesterday. However, he did state that he wanted to get the country flying again.”

On the UK government’s road map, foreign trips are banned until May 17 at the earliest.

“I think that this is a work in progress. In my opinion, travel will get going on May 17 – a tentative start potentially,” said Ms Cumpston.

“My understanding is that green are pretty safe destinations to go to with no quarantine, potentially testing. Amber: potentially testing and quarantine, unless you release yourself with early testing. And the red list’s the same as it is now.”

“Obviously, we are waiting for the dates from the government as to when travel can restart and what the stipulations for travel will be in the traffic light system.”

The news comes as travel to and from the rest of the UK to Wales is poised to be allowed again from next week, with many looking to book holidays at home.

“We’ve been inundated,” Ms Cumpston told Bro Radio’s Vale this week.

“I would say we’ve had over 500 enquiries between last Wednesday and today. People are just desperate to get away.”

With flights abroad currently limited to essential travel only, she has seen a marked spike in customers looking for a Welsh break.

“We’re starting to call it the Welsh triangle. Pembrokeshire to Brecon Beacons up to Lake Bala. Those three areas seem to be the most popular at the moment.”

Easter has been particularly busy. But following the easing of restrictions across Wales, holiday makers are anxious to avoid disappointment.

“We’ve spoken to so many different families and couples who are desperate for a break after the last year. If they can’t travel, everyone wants to make sure they’ve got a plan b,” said Ms Cumpston.

“I’m very confidant that people will be travelling. I’ve booked my own holiday for September to Greece and I think I’ll go. If I don’t, then we will be able to amend or refund if need be.”

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