BRISTOL: Taking off or landing?

If you’re not heavily into your politics but have a vague idea of what the EU Referendum is, then your attention may have turned to the effects that Brexit may have on holidaymakers. What you may not yet know is that the effects of leaving the EU could be hugely significant.

The UK population currently takes over 29million holidays to EU countries per year. That’s an enormous 76% of all holidays taken abroad. From Bristol Airport alone, over 50 flights per day depart to EU countries. The lower costs and the lack of need for a travel visa make European destinations hugely appealing.

The UK economy currently benefits hugely from holidaymakers with over £31billion being spent before we travel. With 76% of these holidays being at EU destinations, an increase in the cost and a decrease in the number of people travelling could have a negative impact on the UK’s economy.

The current EU regulations are designed to benefit holidaymakers and business travellers. Should the UK decide to leave the EU, a number of these regulations may need to be renegotiated and the longer-term impact could be significant.

The Current EU regulations include:

  • Financial protection for package holidays
  • Compensation for flight delays
  • Access to free health cover through the European Health Insurance Card
  • Caps on mobile phone charges
  • ‘Open skies’ across the EU, resulting in more routes, more airlines, and lower fares

 Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive, said: “Our assessment of the report’s findings is that a vote to leave will lead to uncertainties and may lead to increased costs for travel businesses and the travelling public. ABTA has considered what a vote to leave the EU might mean purely from a travel perspective.  Our view is that the potential risks and downsides are not matched by an equal upside for the traveller.”

Although there are more pressing concerns regarding the referendum, for the general public, it should be noted that if the UK vote to leave, holidaymakers may find difficulty in jetting off on affordable breaks.

 

by Kieran Goldberg

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