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Travel

The effect of Brexit on tourism

Great Britain's referendum to leave the European Union will in the long term also affect tourism - both in the UK and in the Brits' favorite European holiday regions.

The world's biggest tour operator, Tui, does not expect Brits in future to be spending their holiday at home. However, should the pound lose value in the long term, their buying power might be restricted, making shopping on holiday more expensive, says Tui managing director Fritz Joussen. "But it's doubtful that it will curb the Brits very developed love of travel," Joussen adds.

Should the Brits have to watch their spending then this will be felt most in the travel sector in the Balearics, the Canary Islands, Greece, Turkey and the Caribbean, as those are the Brits favorite holiday destinations, according to Tui.

Great Britain is one of the tour operator's most important markets. In the last fiscal year, it accounted for one third of the company's turnover - about on a par with Germany.

The local tourism sector is worried about the effects of a post-Brexit decline in tourists as more than three quarters of visitors to the UK come from Europe.

A study by Travelzoo, the global media commerce service, has demonstrated that the Brexit could have serious consequences for the British tourism sector. Consumers in Germany, the US, Canada, Italy, France and Spain were surveyed: A third of travelers from Germany, Italy and Spain, and a quarter from France, said they would be less inclined to visit Great Britain if it chose to leave the EU.

The head of Harz University's Institute of tourism research, Volker Böttcher, said that the expected devaluation of the British currency would result in a decline in visitor numbers from the UK to Europe and Germany because services and products will become more expensive. He added that even though Great Britain will therefore also become less expensive for European travelers, he does not expect significant increases in visitors. "This is because Brexit sends a negative political signal that dampens any interest in those thinking of visiting the UK," he explains.

Short and to the point

It could become cheaper for travelers to Great Britain, but destinations so popular with British tourists like Portugal and Spain could become more expensive for them.

Increased travel restrictions for tourists are not expected in future. What travel documents will be required is yet to be decided, but an introduction of tourist visas is seen as unlikely.

Additional roaming costs on mobile phones will be abolished in EU member countries from 2017- meaning that calling and internet surfing will be charged the same rate they pay at home. After Brexit, mobile phone providers in Great Britain will no longer be tied to this agreement.

The European Common Aviation Area ensures that European flight operators can fly into any EU country - but following Brexit, companies like Easyjet and Ryanair will have to increase prices to cover the cost of reduced EU airport charges no longer applying to them.

is/at/sbc (dpa, travelzoo)