The world watched over the weekend as the outcome of the UK’s exit from the EU in the Brexit raised many a question over just what does it mean?
Travel Weekly reported on Friday what would be expected for travellers if the vote swung to yes, with affects to be immediately on the Foreign Exchange, the Australian dollar to strengthen against the British pound, but lose momentum against the US dollar.
While some Australian travellers were temporarily affected, stranded without cash for up to six hours after Commonwealth Bank suspended foreign exchange of the British pound following the Brexit referendum, the travel industry is reacting to Brexit with both optimism and anxiety.
There seems to be a state of uncertainty surrounding passport control and border checks, and international driving licenses and cell phones could be a big issue. An extra visa may be required for Australians when traditionally, travellers who go through Britain automatically gain entrance to all the EU countries. For Australians, you will most probably have a special stamp for coming into the UK and another stamp for EU countries.
The Cruise Lines International Association also hopes the vote’s short-term effects won’t last. “The cruise industry relies on stable business frameworks and regulatory certainty to operate efficiently. This is why CLIA hopes that Europe’s stability and business environment will not be unduly affected,” it said in a statement.
Some folks (like IATA) are predicting serious drops in traffic, with the business traffic dropping in/out of England enough to make it sting.
“Preliminary estimates suggest that the number of UK air passengers could be 3-5 percent lower by 2020, driven by the expected downturn in economic activity and the fall in the sterling exchange rate. The near-term impact on the UK air freight market is less certain, but freight will be affected by lower international trade in the longer term,” IATA said.
Sir Richard Branson tweeted his dismay with the decision, saying “None of this [leaving the EU] will happen overnight, and the UK will face a multitude of complex negotiations and difficult choices over the coming years. I have been clear I wanted the UK to remain in the EU. The last few weeks I have been more outspoken as I think leaving the European Union is a very sad decision that will do enormous damage to both Britain’s economy and Europe’s stability. This decision will create volatility and will threaten much of the good work delivered by the EU over the last 40 years. Nevertheless we must all accept and respect the majority vote.”
However, as the dust settles, there’s no doubt that we’ll see visible changes in the UK’s travel industry, and the government will have the unenviable task of implementing independent regulations to maintain the country’s position as a global tourism hub and gateway to Europe.