THE British spirit has been broken in more ways than one this last year and half. Amongst the most depressing of the indicators is the loss of will to travel abroad – something the Brits have loved doing since ‘The Grand Tour’, but which only in the twentieth century was made possible for all.
It was a press release that landed in my email box yesterday that brought this all home. The headline read:
UNCERTAINTY ON TRAVEL IS STILL RIFE AMONG BRITS WITH LESS THAN A THIRD BELIEVING THEY WILL GO ABROAD THIS YEAR
It went on to reveal the survey findings that underlay it, that only 28 per cent of the 2,000 Brits surveyed are considering going abroad this year. That’s despite more than a third stating that they would struggle mentally if they didn’t have a holiday to think about and more than two-thirds stating they want to try new experiences.
As well as impacting on the nation’s mental health, the lack of travel abroad is also scuppering lifetime goals. Sixty-eight per cent said ‘they’ve achieved less than five items on their travel bucket list. This figure rises further when looking at a Gen Z audience, with 78 per cent of respondents stating that they’re yet to tick a travel goal off of their list.’
These are the things they most want to do that they’ve just given up on:
1. Northern Lights
2. Orient Express
3. Drive Route 66
4. Safari in Africa
5. Cruise on the Caribbean
6. Climb Machu Picchu
7. Island hopping in Greece
8. See Mount Fuji in Japan
9. Stay at an over-water bungalow in the Maldives
10. Visit the Seven Wonders of the World
I am sure the climate zealots will be cheering, but think about those global locations and the implications. It’s not so funny for those here and abroad who run and man (or used to) the travel business. Giving up on travel will wreck economies, kill business and impoverish millions round the world. I can’t see the DIY industry (where people are channelling their money instead apparently) making up for that.
Instead of being depressed we should defy these attempts to put us off travel. Arguably we have a moral duty to battle to do so – to battle through the ridiculous restrictions and compliances, grin and bear the PCR, negotiate quarantine and treat it like an obstacle course we can congratulate ouselves on overcoming. Get back the fighting spirit and travel, come what may. Refuse to be put off. In plain English we shouldn’t allow the bastards to grind us down.
Do you agree? Discuss this or anything else on your mind.