Last updated: 02:02 PM ET, Fri June 24 2016

Brexit and the Travel and Tourism Industry

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | June 24, 2016

Brexit and the Travel and Tourism Industry

Photo courtesy Thinkstock 

It really comes down to the long and short of it when you consider the impact the travel and tourism industry will feel as a result of yesterday’s pro-Brexit vote for the U.K. to leave the European Union.

In the short term, not a lot will change for travelers heading to or from the U.K.

“The Prime Minister has stated that there will be no initial change in the way people travel,” said U.K. travel association ABTA in a statement. “People due to travel this summer will see little changes to their holiday. Once the UK formally notifies the EU of its intention to leave, the remaining Member States will have up to two years to offer the UK a deal for a future trading relationship and during this period holidaymakers will not see any immediate changes.”

This isn’t expected to happen until at least October after a new Prime Minister has been installed in the country – David Cameron resigned on June 24, after the Leave campaign was successful.

The major impact going forward this summer, and until negotiations begin for an exit from the E.U., is the world economic market and Brexit’s effect on finances, both people’s personal finances and corporate wealth.

ABTA’s statement on Brexit finished by saying “the fall in value of the pound will have an immediate impact on holidaymakers and their spending power overseas.”

MORE: How Will Tourism to the UK Fare After Brexit? 

The pound has lost nearly 9 percent of its value overnight and, if it continues at these levels, Britons are going to face a hefty price increase in airfares, hotel prices, tour prices and more when it comes to travel abroad.

A TravelZoo survey conducted before the Brexit vote revealed that 40 percent of respondents from France and Spain felt it would be fair to impose higher fees on U.K. travelers, such as a hiked city tax.

These increases could definitely have an affect on Briton’s decision-making processes regarding where to vacation. Many might see the short term as a last opportunity for cheap airfares and swift immigration policies in EU countries and and head to Europe for a holiday or they could decide that higher prices abroad mean staycationing in the U.K. is a better option.

According to TravelZoo research, more than a quarter (28 percent) of Britons are concerned that withdrawal from the EU could lead to more expensive holidays for them, while 56 percent are worried that Brexit would reduce the ease and flexibility with which British nationals can currently travel inside the EU.

It is almost certain that longer-haul markets, that will now be more expensive for Britons, will likely take a hit.

READ MORE: Britain Votes to Leave European Union in Historic Brexit Vote

In the long term, however, a post-Brexit world is uncharted waters. Leaving the EU will result in the renegotiation of everything from air carrier agreements to immigration and trade policies, and there is just no way to know how things are going to end up between the U.K. and the EU.

At this point, things could go either way. There are a number of doomsday scenarios but the way things will likely work out might not alter the day-to-day lives of Britons very much. The only problem with that outcome is that pro-Brexit voters are not likely to see the changes that they voted for come to fruition. 

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