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Published on Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Industry split over EU vote



With just three weeks to go to the EU referendum, the travel industry remains split on which way to vote.

A recent TravelMole poll found that 54.08% were in favour of staying in the EU and 45.92% want to leave.

The vote reflected the mood of the rest of the country, with the 'Remain' campaign running ahead since polls began.

A report in the Daily Telegraph today suggested a recent boost for 'Vote Leave' campaigners due to concerns regarding Britain's ability to control its borders if it stays in the EU. As a result, it said Leave now has 46% of votes.

Major travel companies, including TUI, are backing the Remain campaign, and this week Travelzoo claims Brexit could cost the UK's tourism industry as much as £4.1 billion a year in lost tourist spending.

Travelzoo claimed its latest research revealed that as many as a third of travellers from Germany, Italy and Spain and a quarter from France would be 'less inclined' to travel to the UK if it leaves the EU.

Four in 10 Europeans are also concerned that Brexit will make UK holidays more expensive.

However, respondents from some countries, including France, felt that UK would be safer for holidays if it left the EU.

Almost 75% of the UK's international visitors come from within the EU, according to Travelzoo, but even respondents from further afield (10% of those from Canada and 12% from the US) said they would be less likely visit Britain if it's outside the EU.

Over a quarter of UK travellers said they were concerned that withdrawal from the EU could lead to more expensive holidays for them, while 56% were worried that Brexit would reduce the ease and flexibility with which British nationals can travel inside the EU.

Other UK tourist concerns include:

  • The price of holiday insurance - 25% are worried that the price of holiday insurance would go up, and 20% worry that their holiday protection cover would be impacted if they were no longer entitled to a European Health Insurance Card.
  •  
  • The cost of mobile roaming - 24% are concerned that roaming charges will increase if Britain is no longer governed by European Union roaming regulations
  •  
  • The impact for UK beaches - 22% worry that UK beaches could become more polluted without strict regulations enforced by the EU



Joel Brandon-Bravo, Travelzoo UK managing director, said: "Our neighbours in Europe clearly don't want the UK to leave the EU, and the impact of this sentiment could translate into a significant drop in bookings to the UK from the largest European countries.


"When combined with a potential loss of more than 10 per cent of visitors from North America, as indicated in our research, it's clear that Brexit could be very bad news for the UK's domestic tourism industry. Similarly, UK consumers looking to travel abroad also have concerns about Brexit impacting the outbound tourism industry."

John Fletcher, Pro Vice Chancellor at Bournemouth University said: "Although the impact of Brexit on tourism is a difficult one to predict, given that France, Germany, Italy and Spain make up four of the UK's top seven tourist-supplying countries - accounting for more than 11 million international visitors annually - it's likely that the net result of Brexit will be significantly negative for the UK economy.

"While the figures above reflect only the direct tourism-related economic impacts of voting to leave the EU, if tourist spending from overseas visitors did indeed fall by £4.1 billion per year, this is likely to reduce HMRC revenue by more than £1.1 billion and reduce support for around 63,000 jobs in the UK.

"Even though a UK exit would take some time to complete, especially as renegotiating our revised status with Europe could take five to seven years from start to completion, there will be immediate effects created by this uncertainty."
 

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Mole Poll
Has the Brexit fiasco started to hit your sales ?
Yes 53.66 %
No 46.34 %

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