Richard Branson calls on government to scrap terror warnings to aid tourism
Sir Richard Branson is today at loggerheads with the Foreign Office after launching an outspoken attack on the department’s publication of ‘terror warnings ‘to international travellers.
The blonde entrepreneur believes that such advisories are ‘exactly what the terrorist’s want’, by stoking fear and cutting off the lifeline of tourism to entire areas and regions.
At present the FCO regularly updates its advice to travellers on the safety of global trouble spots for holidaymakers but it has no powers to stop people travelling but its warnings automatically invalidate travel insurance with tour companies hide bound to comply.
Urging a change in tack Branson called on the UK (and other Western governments) to adopt a new strategy, saying: “The right thing is for every country to not put out advisories against nations that suffer terrorist attacks, but instead continue to aid them, through tourism and trade."
Branson, who heads up Virgin Atlantic, says that his airline was forced to abandon its route to Nairobi following a pronouncement from the US State Department on Kenya.
A Foreign Office spokesman retorted: “We have a responsibility to make sure British nationals have the necessary information and advice so that they can make their own choices. We would rightly be criticised if UK lives were lost and we had not reflected a known terrorist threat in our travel advice."