Post-Brexit cost of foreign holidays is ‘set to soar’

Classic Turkish holiday resort Marmaris.
Classic Turkish holiday resort Marmaris.

This summer may come to be seen as the last golden year of affordable holidays once Brexit problems multiply, says a leading tourism expert.

Holidaymakers will face less choice, higher prices and steeper insurance costs once the UK quits the EU, predicts Professor John Lennon, director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism at Glasgow Caledonian University.

He says flights could face significant disruption as UK negotiators face the “colossal” task of securing new air access agreements to destinations worldwide.

Meanwhile people travelling abroad will need cover for flight delays and medical repatriation costs, while industry insiders believe cut price offers could disappear.

Professor Lennon said: “People see holidays as a primary purchase. They will still go on holiday but it’s going to get more expensive.

“Almost all major UK outbound destinations are more expensive, with the exception of Turkey.

“The cost of flying, travel insurance, and data roaming charges are likely to rise post-Brexit.

“Travellers will also face increased costs for food, beverages and accommodation because of the weakness of Sterling.”

He added: “As the UK leaves the EU, the potential for far worse access agreements could seriously damage the flying rights of UK airlines.

“The scale of the negotiating task that faces the British government is colossal. There are more than 60 air access agreements to be renegotiated.”

“There’s visa uncertainty about entry into Europe post-March 2019, and UK travellers will no longer benefit from the EU led abolition of data roaming charges”.

Apart from the known likely difficulties the uncertainty around levels of access, charges and insurance cover may simply persuade some people that travelling abroad will no longer be worth the bother.

Professor Lennon said: “The travel industry is just like any other business.

“Its customers hate uncertainty. If things like access, charges and insurance cover are uncertain it will impact on travel patterns.”

The Moffat Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University has undertaken projects in more than 40 countries and is also responsible for compiling the Scottish accommodation occupancy and visitor attraction performance statistics.

Its data is used by the Scottish Government, local authorities and public bodies to calculate tourism value and performance.