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Lesley's Column

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4th July 2016

Brexit and the effect on travel

Last week the United Kingdom voted on whether to remain a member of the European Union or leave. What does a vote to leave the EU mean for UK travel? According to a recent report by Deloitte and ABTA before the result, these are the key findings.

The statistics: 76% of UK holidays abroad are in EU countries, 29.3 million in 2014. 63% of inbound holiday visitors are from EU countries, 8.8 million in 2014.

68% of business visits from the UK are to EU countries, 4.6 million in 2014. 73% of business visitors to the UK are from EU countries, 6 million in 2014.

The value of sterling could be impacted. The extent to which operating from outside the EU would increase costs for the travel industry would depend largely on the agreements the industry would adopt.

It is likely that EU-originating regulations that benefit and protect travelling consumers will need to be replaced with parallel UK-originated regulations.

The travel and tourism sectors employ a significant number of immigrants. Any changes limiting the sector’s ability to recruit or employ foreign nationals, including those from the EU, could challenge many travel and hospitality businesses in filling a number of roles.

Consumers would need to cover any additional health insurance costs, should the UK exit the European Health Insurance.

The EU is the main destination for UK tourists, and the main source market for overseas tourists coming to the UK. Tourism and travel trade between the UK and EU has been facilitated by the free movement of goods and services, investment and people across the EU.

Its early days and the only thing we know for certain is that no one knows for certain what a post-EU UK will look like.