A massive 20 million people could turn their back on Europe as a holiday destination next summer unless a Brexit deal can be agreed, reveals research released today (Monday 5 November) by World Travel Market London.
A ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario could see British tourists heading for hotspots such as Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy forced to pay £52 for a Schengen visa – which allows 90-day access to European destinations. A poll of 1,025 UK holidaymakers by World Travel Market London reveals 58% would consider an alternative destination if they have to pay for a visa.
Newspaper reports during summer 2018 said the EU could class the UK along with the likes of Russia and China by charging tourists £52 for visas after Brexit.
If the UK is granted an exemption from the visa requirement, Brits could still be charged £7 for entry permits under a separate EU plan that will come into force in 2020.
Furthermore, regardless of whether a deal is agreed or not, four in ten believe Brexit will have an impact on their holiday plans in 2019, with a third worried about holidaying in Europe because of the UK’s departure from the EU.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that Brits took a record 46.5 million overseas holidays in 2017 – and a whopping 75% of those trips are estimated to be in EU countries.
While doubts about the EU are mounting, the popularity of destinations outside the bloc is on the rise – especially Turkey and Tunisia.
Value-for-money Turkey has seen the number of Brits rising by two-thirds this year, as its currency has fallen to an all-time low against the pound, and UK tour operators added more airline seats to Turkish resorts.
Numbers to Tunisia from the UK have soared this year, albeit from a very low base, following the terrorist attacks in 2015. ONS figures revealed a 537% year-on-year rise to 19,000 visits in the first quarter of 2018.
Russia will be hoping to capitalise on the interest generated by hosting the FIFA World Cup and research specialist Euromonitor international believes the Russian travel industry “is predicted to perform well”, partly thanks to exposure generated by the football tournament.
Furthermore, several destinations further afield are spending big at World Travel Market London to attract UK holidaymakers, including Iran, Sharjah and Jordan.
Jordan in particular is making a play for the UK tourist with the introduction of flights, slashing the average cost of a holiday from £500 per person to under £200.
Iran’s national tourist board will be at WTM London along with tour operators featuring holidays in the country, highlighting the opportunities for cultural and adventure tourism.
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority will also be at WTM London to promote holidays in the emirate, which aims to attract 10 million tourists by 2021 – a dramatic increase on the current annual total of around two million.
World Travel Market London’s Paul Nelson said: “Over the past few months, there have been a great deal of headlines in the British press about what may or may not happen for holidaymakers after the UK leaves the EU at the end of March 2019. There seems to be a great deal of confusion and speculation about travel to Europe – and this is compounded by fears of what would happen in a ‘no-deal’ scenario.
“While the trade is drawing up contingency plans to cope with any eventuality, British consumers seem to be increasingly apprehensive about flights, visas and currency costs in traditional destinations such as Spain, France and Italy.
“Conversely, this could mean there’s a silver lining for non-Schengen countries because British tourists know for certain what the travel requirements will be and can book in advance with more confidence than they can with most of Europe.”
World Travel Market London takes place at ExCeL – London between Monday 5 November and Wednesday 7 November. Around 50,000 senior industry executives fly into London to agree deals worth more than £3 billion. These deals are the holiday routes, hotels and packages that holidaymakers will experience in 2019.
WTM London polled 1,025 2018 UK holidaymakers.
About World Travel Market
World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises six leading B2B events across four continents, generating more than $7 billion of industry deals. The events are:
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. About 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating about £3.1 billion of travel industry contracts. http://london.wtm.com/. Next event: 5-7 November 2018 – London.
Travel Forward is a new travel technology event co-located with WTM London 2018 and part of the WTM portfolio of events. The inaugural Travel Forward conference, exhibition and buyer programme will take place on 5–7 November 2018 at ExCeL London, showcasing next-generation technology for travel and hospitality. http://travelforward.wtm.com/.
WTM Latin America attracts about 9,000 senior executives and generates about US$374 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 8,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. http://latinamerica.wtm.com/. Next event: 2-4 April 2019 – Sao Paulo.
WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. http://africa.wtm.com/.
Next event: 10-12 April 2019 – Cape Town.
Arabian Travel Market is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2018 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, with representation from 141 countries over the four days. The 25th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. To find out more, please visit: www.arabiantravelmarketwtm.com.
Next event: 28 April-1 May 2019 – Dubai.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face-to-face through data and digital tools at more than 500 events a year, in more than 43 countries, attracting more than seven million participants. Reed’s events are held in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.
About Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism events organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether they are global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have more than 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.
More information, please contact:
Paul Nelson – WTM Portfolio PR Manager
T: +44 (0)20 8910 7032/ M: +44 (0)79 1955 5510
Natalia Hartmann – WTM Portfolio PR Executive
T: +44 (0)20 8439 5535/ M: +44 (0)74 0336 7331