Comment: Celebrations on both sides of the pond

As the trade taps into the coronation to boost sales, US specialists can finally welcome the long-overdue lifting of restrictions, says Lucy Huxley

Whether you are a flag-waving royalist, an avowed republican or something in between, it’s unlikely you will escape the pomp and pageantry taking place to mark the new King’s coronation this weekend.

As we report in this week’s edition of Travel Weekly, many firms are hoping the coronation can offer an additional sales opportunity, with themed celebrations and promotions designed to tap into the buzz around the event.

And those hopes are certainly not restricted to the outbound sector, with the inbound industry keen to capitalise on the global exposure the celebrations will inevitably generate.

Another group with cause for celebration this week are the US specialist agents and suppliers who can finally rejoice at the long-overdue ditching of Covid vaccine rules for travellers.

Those specialists have been arguing for some time that they have been operating with the handbrake partially on – with large group bookings particularly vulnerable to postponement or even cancellation due to the vaccination records of one or more travellers.

As USAirtours boss Guy Novik reminds us in an interview to mark the operator’s 40th anniversary this year, the transatlantic market has had its share of challenges over the decades.

But Guy is certainly not alone in feeling confident about the scope for growth in travel between two nations which share a close bond.

In November 2021, Travel Weekly’s front page hailed the reopening of borders with the headline ‘Homecoming’. Almost 18 months on and following the good news from Washington, it finally feels as though the US is fully open for business.

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