‘At least I will get a few more stamps in my passport now’
This was the first statement that I posted on social media when I heard the news that Britain would be leaving the European Union. Whilst I understand that some people may not be happy with the result and that many are concerned with uncertain prospects for the country as a result of the referendum, it’s time to accept it and move on. This result means many different things to many different people- the fisherman might be happy, whilst the bankers are not, those north of the boarder might want to leave the UK and Londoners may have to deal with financial implications of a drop in property prices. But what does this mean for the travel and tourism industry?
Holidays are inevitably on the minds of many Brits right now, not only as a means to de-stress after all the referendum hype, but also because of the dreadful weather we have had recently and the approaching school holidays. I expect not much will change this holiday season (apart from a little resentment towards us perhaps- I can’t help but think that all of the EU hate us now!), but what will our summer holidays be like next year and the year after?
Deregulation of the aviation industry saw a huge rise low cost carriers, who expanded across Europe. This was great news for travellers! Before the average person took maybe one holiday a year, but with the growth of low-cost travel they could now afford a weekend break in addition to their two weeks in the Costas. Those who couldn’t afford to travel before were now welcomed in to the holiday market with open arms. Budget travellers, backpackers and students could now hop on flights as easier as taking the bus. But will this stop?
My answer is no.
To support this view, I did a little test. I opened the Skyscanner app on my phone and searched for a flight to Norway. I could fly from as little as £16. Is this not proof enough? Ryan Air will undoubtedly be unhappy about this referendum result because Michael O’Leary is one of tightest men on earth (can you tell I’m not a huge fan?), but seriously they are so spread out across Europe with 84 different basis that I’m sure they can avoid too much of a negative impact on Michael’s profits, and subsequently the prices we pay. And what about the fact that London is a world leading hub? Seriously, airlines would be crazy to stop flying here… And lastly, is the price gap between budget and scheduled airlines really all that big after you take in to consideration the costs of travel to/from secondary airports, pay a small fortune for your baggage and all the other little ‘add ons’?
I admit, waking up to news that the Pound was at its lowest value since before I was born was a bit scary. But the reality is that the Euro is suffering just as much, if not more. There is uncertainly in the markets on both sides. So yes, perhaps until the Pound recovers, and of course the future is unknown, it may be a bit more expensive to travel outside of Europe. But if the Euro is struggling too then surely its relative and that there is little difference?
In the wake of the news that we are to leave the EU I said to my husband ‘crap, we should have ordered our Euros for our trip to Greece yesterday!’. Whilst it certainly wouldn’t be the best idea to purchase currency today, I believe that things will steady over the coming weeks and that perceived instabilities in the UK are also likely to be replicated in the EU. This means that although both currencies might be weaker, we as tourists, won’t see too much difference in our pockets.
Recently we had the news that roaming charges are to be cut across Europe- so we will no longer be receiving those huge bills through the door, or inbox, several weeks after we return home. Whoop whoop! Fortunately for us these deals are already set in to European regulation and therefore it is unlikely that they will change. Phew, we made it just in time!
My dad lives in Spain and he, along with many other Brits abroad, will undoubtedly feel somewhat nervous about their future prospects. The truth is, what will happen largely depends on where they are. I cannot see Spain kicking out people who bring lots of money in to their economy and are paying mortgages etc on their holiday homes. They could however bring in things such as taxes or licenses required to continue working or living there. Whilst this could cost Brits abroad money, it is unlikely that their lives in the sun will be taken away from them.
For those who haven’t yet made the move however, it probably won’t be as easy as before. One of the main reason Brits voted to leave the EU was to stop unlimited migration in to the UK- this works both ways I’m afraid- if we won’t take them, why should they take us? I think this situation will largely depend on where exactly it is you want to move to and whether you are of value to the country!
No you don’t need to get a new passport! New passports and driving licenses will cease to display the EU logo when you replace your existing one. Passport control, which is inherently arduous and long-winded, might even be a slightly more enjoyable experience for us Brits- turn left for the UK and right for everywhere else…
Some destinations have warned that they will introduce visa requirements. But seriously lets face it, many EU destinations make SO much money from us Brits, are they really going to deter us from visiting? Imagine the Benidorm strip if we all chose to go to Turkey instead!
We are told to order this little card called an E111, but have you ever actually used it? Do you even own one? Spend a few Pounds on travel insurance, which most of us have anyway, and you will have nothing to worry about.
Whoop whoop the return of REAL duty free! Come on, we all know there is barely any difference between a bottle of Chanel Number Five in Paris to London…
There is one positive to the Pound losing value, it means that those from outside the UK will get more for their money if they come here. That will inevitably give inbound tourism a boost, which in turn will help our economy. Every cloud…
I would first like to point our that I did actually vote to remain in Europe, but like I said at the beginning of this post, there is no point complaining about it- its time to work with wat we have. Of course there are uncertainties and anybody who tells you point blank what will happen is a liar (or perhaps a psychic!). But having done a little bit of research I don’t believe that leaving the EU will be as detrimental for British holiday-makers as the scaremongering politicians made it out to be pre-referendum. Hey, there are even a couple of positives in there! Happy traveling folks! 🙂