Brexit takes a bite out of travel
Although the UK has not yet officially exited the European Union, the June 2016
Two-thirds of respondents said short-haul bookings have increased, particularly to Spain
Brexit vote has already affected UK residents in a range of ways. GrassrootsSM
Research recently interviewed travel agents throughout the UK to see what kind of insights could be drawn from consumers' holiday plans.
When we asked about the booking trend for short-haul travel destinations, which are predominantly European, two-thirds of respondents said they had more bookings for 2017 than they did during the same period last year. Several agents told
Half of our respondents said long-haul bookings were down, primarily due to currency fluctuations
us that short-haul European trips – particularly to Spain – are perceived as safer than countries such as Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey, which were previously popular with holiday-makers. One-third of the agents we contacted said short-haul bookings were flat or had fallen, generally due to negative post-Brexit pricing caused by a weaker British pound.
Currency fluctuations and faraway destinations
When we asked about long-haul destinations, almost half of the interviewed travel agents said 2017 bookings were up, with those travelers finding better value in far-away locales than in Europe. Yet an almost equal number of sources said long-haul bookings had moved lower due to exchange-rate fluctuations, post-Brexit political uncertainty and security concerns in certain countries.
"It is interesting to note that consumers are
Declining consumer sentiment could hurt tour operators, who are finding it difficult to pass on higher costs
adapting their holiday plans in the light of Brexit and wider geopolitical uncertainty, but they still want to travel," said Research Analyst Bianca Schnieder. "Tour operators have reacted to this trend by adding more all-inclusive products, which offer price protection. Any negative shifts in UK consumer sentiment in the months ahead could translate into rising demand headwinds for tour operators, who would find it increasingly difficult to pass on higher costs. But so far, the 2017 season has been off to a good start."