June 12, 2020
Here is an overview of what happened in the UK Media during the week commencing 8th June.
This week, the headlines focused on the quarantine measures being implemented and the lockdown restrictions lifting in the UK. Non-essential shops are set to re-open week commencing 15th June and new figures show around half of primary schools in England re-opened to more children last week. It has been confirmed that The Government is working towards bringing all children back to school by September. Positive news related to Covid-19 also included the fact that the Covid-19 cases and deaths are down to the lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic.
Specific storylines and topics:
- The BBC reports that all non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen in England on Monday, as long as retailers follow safety guidelines, or they could face enforcement notices.
- The BBC also reported health bosses fear the Covid-19 crisis could see the number of people waiting for NHS treatment double to 10 million by the end of the year.
- UK excess deaths down to lowest level since beginning of pandemic as Sky News reports that across the UK, 1,798 more people died in the week 29 May then they historically have done at this point in the year.
- Sky News also reported zoos and safari parks will be allowed to reopen next week, in the latest moves to relax coronavirus lockdown rules being announced by Boris Johnson.
- The Times reports that pubs are in a race against time to open their beer gardens by June 22 amid frustration among landlords at the two-metre social-distancing rule
The trade press continued to focus on news and updates related to airport openings, destinations launching and travel restrictions lifting. Given the news of the travel sector opening, there has been further updates regarding health and safety protocols and specific news in regards to the WTTC’s safety and hygiene stamp.
This week’s major articles included:
- Travel Weekly and TTG reported that air bridge assurance triggers suspension of Quash Quarantine legal threat and that the group says it will reconsider legal action against the government if Downing Street makes public the campaign’s private assurances of air bridges being introduced at the end of the month
- Breaking Travel News and Travel Mole reported that a number of popular holiday destinations have signed up to the world's first ever global safety and hygiene stamp, launched by the World Travel & Tourism Council
- Travel Weekly reports that Greece, Portugal and Spain see flight bookings surge and six new routes are being added by easyJet from Luton airport for next summer.
- TravelMole reported that Kuoni has seen an upturn in bookings for 2021, Eastern Airways is to operate summer flights between Leeds Bradford Airport and Newquay in Cornwall from July 9th and a UK summer quarantine 'could cost 2.9m jobs’.
- The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released a new financial outlook for the global aviation sector, showing heavy weather ahead as 2020 is set to be worst year in the history of aviation, reported Breaking Travel News.
The travel press focused on the openings of both domestic and international travel and the industry updates which affect consumers. Some titles featured stories and guides to explain the new restrictions and guidelines for travellers.
Topics and features included:
- Conde Nast Traveller published a guide to the UK quarantine and what the guidelines mean
- Daily Mail shared photos of anti-coronavirus personal protection shield for plane seats which is set to be ready for aircraft use by mid-June. This means airlines won't need to block off middle seats.
- The Times reported, that one of Britain’s biggest “staycation” travel providers has agreed to refund customers who had their holidays cancelled after the chief consumer watchdog intervened.
- The Express reported that Spain rejects quarantine exemption for British holidaymakers and FCO announce major update to travel advice for Britons as the FCO no longer warns Britons to return home from abroad
- The Guardian reported a group of 500 companies ‘has government assurances’ that travel corridors will be in place by end of June, but is demanding an official statement to save operators from going bust
SOCIAL - ANALYSIS TRAVEL
In the past week there have been around 319K mentions of ‘travel’, ‘holiday’ or ‘travel industry’ across social media. The sentiment around this conversation continues to be largely optimistic with positive sentiment at 78%. The people taking the biggest share of voice online within this topic area are aged between 25-34.
Many users tweeting about the new quarantine measures that came into effect on the 8 June and the impact this may have on the travel industry. There was also much speculation about the proposed ‘air corridors’ with between the UK and European destinations.
The top topics around travel and holiday conversations from the week are summarised in the top graph. ‘Book’ made over 756 appearances in social posts as audiences discussed whether they should book a holiday for 2020 and news outlets publishing stories about travel companies encouraging consumers to book.
In the keyword graph below, the term ‘refund’ made around 91 appearances in social media posts with the users posting that they still had not received their refunds from travel companies. ‘Racism' also appeared in many searches. This is slightly misleading as this was in relation to social media users expressing that John Mann had not shared his anti-racism expertise in the recent BLM movement and questioning whether he was on holiday.
Social media users across the world continued to post in support for the Black Lives Matter movement and shared images and video content from BLM protests around the globe. Following Bristol demonstrators tearing down the statue of Edward Colston, many users posted on their platforms calling for other statues in the UK to be pulled down. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London announced that he would review the city's landmarks, murals and street names and posted around the removal of the statue of slave trader Robert Milligan from West India Quay.
This week many UK brands continued to post in support of the BLM movement, including leading British tea company Yorkshire Tea who called out a racist remark on Twitter, with competitor brand PG Tips quickly joining the conversation, which prompted social media users to post in support of the brands and in #solidaritea.
World Oceans Day took place on 8th June with brands, celebrities and social media users across the world taking to their channels to post their appreciation for the world’s oceans and highlight the importance in protecting and conserving them.
WHAT WE’RE LOVING IN TRAVEL THIS WEEK
MSC Cruises donates thousands of masks to NHS The cruise line has donated thousands of surgical and respiratory masks to medical professionals across Europe, with the latest delivery to NHS workers in Brighton.
The winners of the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards were announced This year, the competition received 346,000 entries from photographers all around the world in 10 categories - architecture, creative, discovery, documentary, environment, landscape, natural world, portraiture, sport and still life.
Advantage Travel Partnership’s CEO, Julia Lo Bue-Said was interviewed on BBC News She spoke about the UK government’s quarantine measures and what this meant for the travel industry
Debbie Flynn’s Travel Weekly column Debbie shared her thoughts on how travel brands must act now to build trust and attract future customers