Yesterday the Government triggered Article 50 to begin the formal Brexit negotiations. We now have two years to negotiate our exit from the EU, with experts suggesting that these will be the most complicated set of negotiations since the end of WWII. The hugely complex nature of the negotiations means that we should not expect to see much happening immediately. The first step will be for the EU member states to agree their negotiating terms, which is likely to take a couple of months. We expect substantive discussions to begin after this in early summer. As we wait for negotiations to get underway ABTA will keep highlighting the important issues affecting our industry among influencers and decision-makers here in the UK and in Europe. Next week we will launch a new report summarising the key points we are asking the Government to prioritise in negotiations, to make Brexit as successful as possible for the travel and tourism industry.
Brexit will no doubt be a major talking point at our flagship event the Travel Convention, which will take place on the 9-11 October and be themed around “The Next Chapter”. There will be many opportunities to discuss the negotiations, which will by then be in full swing. The setting for this year’s Travel Convention is the Azores, a stunning natural paradise in the mid-Atlantic that offers plenty of activities for sports, adventure and nature lovers. Registration is now open and, if you are planning on joining, I would encourage you to take advantage of our Early Bird fees.
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive