Here is an article from travel research firm Phocuswright examining the effects of the Brexit referendum on European travel.
The full article is below. Some of the conclusions include:
- With the dropping value of the Pound Brits may not choose to travel as much in Europe
- France is likely to suffer considerably, because the UK is one of their top feeder markets
- With the Pound weakening compared to the Euro and the US Dollar, the UK may see more inbound tourism
- Border controls, customs, and visas may become more complicated in the long run
- UK based low-cost flight carriers like Ryanair and EasyJet may have to reduce flights or increase rates due to complications with European open skies agreements
- The travel culture in Europe will still continue despite the referendum
Will Brexit Derail Europe's Travel Recovery?
By Lorraine Sileo, Senior Vice President, Research
“With the surprising outcome of Great Britain's referendum on its future in the European Union, there is much speculation about its potential impact on travel and tourism. It was already hard enough to forecast the outlook for travel in Europe, with so much economic and political uncertainty in the region and, indeed, the world.
The European travel market did not recover from the global recession as did U.S. tourism, and it was just climbing out of the doldrums in 2015. According to Phocuswright's European Online Travel Overview Eleventh Edition, European travel grew 5% in 2015 to €264 billion and was expected to gain another 3% this year. The U.K. travel market was projected to grow slightly faster at 4% this year (to £44.8 billion). European tourists were just starting to get more optimistic, with travel incidence at a four-year high for Germany and France, although U.K. travelers were already starting to pull back.
But with the crashing British pound (which fell to a seven-year low on Friday), the question remains how confident Brits will be in traveling abroad – and what the repercussions will be throughout Europe itself. One of the markets that might suffer most is France. With the U.K. as one of its top feeder markets, there could be some impact on holidays this summer (though most plans are likely made already). On the flipside, the U.K. does stand to benefit from inbound tourism as the pound weakens against the dollar. But European travel will be rattled, at least temporarily. The Independent sizes it up well: The €:£ rate is crucial because we take the majority of our foreign holidays in the single-currency area; the Spanish coasts, the French countryside, the cities of Italy and the islands of Greece. Even temporary fluctuations matter.
Significant longer-term issues are still to be sorted out: visas, passports, and customs and border control in general, which could put a crimp in inbound and outbound travel for the country. Already British Airways owner IAG SA lowered its 2016 profit target in anticipation of a drop in demand.
Any disturbance to European open skies, which resulted in the rise of low-cost carriers and lowered inter-EU fares, could affect the number of inbound and outbound flights (and potentially cause fares to rise). Not good news for Ryanair or easyJet – it's no wonder Ryanair lowered its fares so expats could fly to the U.K. and vote to remain.
U.S.-based online travel giants were also rustled by the chaos. Stock price declines for Expedia (-7.4%), Priceline (-11.4%) and TripAdvisor (-6.2%) on Friday signify the breadth of casualties that day as the market reacted to the potential impact on tourism.
These are just some of the big issues the travel industry will face in the days and months to come. However, while it is a natural reaction to contemplate the worst in the immediate aftermath of surprising events, it is also essential to remember that travel – both as a journey as well as the pursuit of leisure – are deeply ingrained in Europe's social fabric. Economic confidence and uncertainty will come and go, but travel will remain a central part of European life.
No referendum is going to change that.”
What do you think is in store for the travel market after the Brexit referrendum?