14 Mar

ABTA launches new report - ‘What Brexit might mean for UK Travel’

ABTA – The Travel Association today launched a comprehensive report ‘What Brexit might mean for UK Travel‘, outlining what a vote to leave the European Union might mean for UK holidaymakers and travel businesses. With economic analysis from Deloitte, the professional services firm, the report assesses how the existing relationship between the UK and the EU has affected UK travellers and the travel industry, and looks at what the likely impact would be of a “leave” vote on consumer confidence, expectation and behaviour, as well as on the industry.

Over 29 million foreign holidays each year are made by UK holidaymakers to EU countries, equating to 76% of all holidays taken. Additionally, 68% of all business trips from the UK are to EU countries (4.6 million business visits).

There are currently many EU regulations that have been designed to benefit holidaymakers and business travellers. Although these regulations would not change immediately, Brexit could have a significant impact in the future. Current regulations include:

  • financial protection for package holidays
  • compensation for flight delays
  • access to free health cover through the European Health Insurance Card
  • caps on mobile phone charges
  • ‘open skies’ across the EU, resulting in more routes, more airlines, and lower fares

Of immediate concern is the impact that a period of uncertainty will have on the strength of the Pound versus other currencies. A weaker Pound has a direct impact on spending power overseas, making the cost of holidaying or visiting abroad more expensive, as well as adding costs for UK businesses to buy abroad.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said: “Our assessment of the report’s findings is that a vote to leave will lead to uncertainties and may lead to increased costs for travel businesses and the travelling public. We recognise that people will approach this referendum by considering many factors – personal, professional, and economic – before casting their vote. ABTA has considered what a vote to leave the EU might mean purely from a travel perspective.  Our view is that the potential risks and downsides are not matched by an equal upside for the traveller.”

For more information visit abta.com/eureferendum