The Effects of Brexit
Will Great Britain’s exit from the European Union permanently affect global tourism?
As the dust continues to settle on the referendum that decided Great Britain’s departure from the European Union, the tourism industry is analyzing how the move will affect foreign and domestic travel on a global scale. “As Brexit starts to unfold, the only thing that is certain is uncertainty,” says Robert Clements, vice president of regulatory affairs at the American Resort Development Association (ARDA).
Immediately, the British pound decreased in value, and as a result, the purchasing power of U.K. travelers will become limited. According to July’s Tourism Business Monitor 2016 report by VisitEngland that surveyed accommodation and attraction providers, impacts have been mostly positive for the U.K.’s domestic market. Sixteen percent of U.K. accommodation providers report an increase in booking inquiries, but less so for the U.S. and other long-haul-destination markets. Very few U.K. businesses have so far experienced actual cancellations.
Looking ahead, 45 percent of U.K. accommodation sites expect more domestic visitors, although 86 percent of businesses agree it’s too early to say what impact the EU referendum will have on their businesses. “The entire Brexit event will be a long process, so travelers should remember that new policies or procedures will not come into effect until after the uncoupling process has been completed,” Clements says.
“Brexit terms include a two-year window of leaving conditions, which doesn’t begin to touch on rebuilding conditions,” he adds. “The tourism industry will need to continue to work with the European Union in order to monitor the reshaping of legislative activities and ensure that its interests, as well as the consumers’, remain protected.”
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