Following the news that the UK has voted to leave the European Union reactions from across the travel industry have been coming in…
Derek Moore, chairman of AITO
“Well, the people have spoken and now we face a new world, not least in the world of travel. Whether you were in favour of leave or remain, it's now time to look forward and adjust to the new realities. It's too soon to know exactly what effect leaving the EU will mean for our businesses; there may well be supplier cost, and thus customer price, implications and we will have to wait to see how airlines react to the situation.
“One thing is certain: whatever effect our new-found independence from Europe has on travel, it will affect us all equally so the playing field will still be a level one - at least to the degree that it always was. Hopefully now that the uncertainty of the referendum campaign days are behind us, people will book to travel abroad. It will be interesting to see what our relationship with the rest of Europe and further afield will now prove to be."
Simon McNamara, director general of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA)
“Time will tell what this vote will mean for the UK and wider European aviation sector. Aviation is a global industry that works best in a borderless environment where the free movement of people allows airlines to move passengers seamlessly and without complication.”
Chris Wright, managing director of Sunvil Group
“The key message to our travel agency partners is for them to encourage consumers to book now to take advantage of the best prices possible. With prices at up to 50% off in Greece, it’s the best deal that their clients are likely to see this summer – and they are assured of a hugely warm welcome. Our Greek and other European partners in the travel industry rely hugely on the UK visitor market for their livelihoods, and it’s important for us to reassure them that it’s business as usual in the holiday arena, no matter what the headline news is. And holidays, after all, are vital for everyone’s wellbeing in this stressful 21st century life of ours.”
Bill Gibbons, director of Discover Ferries
“Holidaymakers can rest assured that this decision will not affect their summer travel plans. Ferries will continue to travel as normal and there will be no changes to routes or schedules and it will be business as usual. In addition the ferry industry is an important source of inbound visitors to the UK. Our ferry members handle 38 million ferry crossings a year and the latest International Passenger Survey (IPS) just published by the government shows that international inbound trips to the UK by sea increased by 6% last year from 4.9 to 5.2 million.”
Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general for Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
“The British people’s vote to leave the EU is a momentous turning point in our history. The country has spoken and it’s for us all to listen. Many businesses will be concerned and need time to assess the implications. But they are used to dealing with challenge and change and we should be confident they will adapt. The urgent priority now is to reassure the markets. We need strong and calm leadership from the Government, working with the Bank of England, to shore up confidence and stability in the economy. The choices we make over the coming months will affect generations to come. This is not a time for rushed decisions.”
Peter Simpson, CEO of bmi regional
"Yesterday’s vote has created a lot of uncertainty about the future of the UK, the EU and Europe as a whole. For a business such as bmi regional, being heavily influenced by the freedom of trade and traffic, this uncertainty will undoubtedly add a layer of complexity to our business. We will keenly monitor developments over the coming weeks and months to assess the challenges and opportunities they will create for the business. It is, however, safe to say, that our continued business domicile as a UK entity is less than clear at this point in time."
Chris Clarkson, managing director of online travel agency sunshine.co.uk
“Whether people voted in or out in yesterday's EU referendum, many will be worried about what the leave result will mean for their future holidays. Will we now require visas to visit EU countries in the same way we are for places like the US and Turkey? Will flights be more expensive? I'm sure there are plenty of questions that holidaymakers have regarding what impact the result will have, but nothing will change for at least two years so they shouldn't worry. Despite grim financial reporting in the news, the EUR exchange rate has held up pretty well so far.”
Joel Brandon-Bravo, UK managing director of Travelzoo
“The next 24 months of negotiations will be crucial for British travel - particularly if the UK Government wants to maintain inbound tourism from the EU, and avoid a price hike for Britons wanting to travel abroad for holidays…With so many variables in play it’s difficult to predict the exact impact the Leave vote will have on the tourism industry, but research suggests it will be a negative one. In order to ensure UK travellers and the UK tourism industry do not suffer as we enter the busiest months for travel, the UK Government has got to enter negotiations with Brussels immediately over the EU policy which impacts travel.”
Steve Witt, managing director of Not Just Travel and The Travel Franchise
“Despite any exit from Europe taking two years or more to really happen, the biggest effect we will see in the short term is currency fluctuation and market uncertainty. This means that the prices of travel and holidays could be affected in the future as we don’t know what the effect of currency changes will have on the price of holidays, hotels, fuel etc. Prices for the coming six-12 months have probably already been fixed and guaranteed with tour operators, holiday companies, hotelier and such like, therefore now is a great time to book a holiday. In terms of going on holiday, no one else really does it like the Brits. We are one of the biggest nations in the world for going on holiday and that means that we are important for the travel industry worldwide. Our travel and tourism industry demands the respect of every country no matter the outcome of Brexit. The amount of money Brit’s spend abroad is considerable so whether we are part of Europe or not, countries such as Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain and many other top holiday destinations need our business."
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