Brexit and Travel dramas
What is the predicted impact of Brexit on Travel
November 2018 was an interesting time to be in the UK. The hundredth anniversary of the armistice of World War I, Remembrance Day. Once enemies, standing side-by-side, wearing the poppy in memory of the fallen. It was sombre, a reminder of the world that we live in and how change.
But it’s all about Brexit. What follows is my super simple summary and why agents need to be prepared for the impact on travel.
Who did I ask? People in the travel industry, aircraft engineers, martial artists, trendy musicians, stay-at-home mum’s, uncles, auntie’s, cousins, city dwellers, country folk, senior executives for multinationals and anyone in between. Most importantly, an equal proportion of levers and stayers, some of whom now would change their vote
What did they say
Everyone has a different take, but it was pretty easy to find consistency. One is Theresa May is doing a terrible job on answering the unanswerable and she wanted to stay in the first place. Up until the last day, everyone thought the vote would happen, Brexit would fail, focus on the future. Clearly the news outlets of the biggest winners.
Secondly, that it’s super complex. That there is no good deal because nobody understands all the parameters.
Thirdly, almost everyone was influenced by a fake news story. The methods for pushing fake news as real news was so complex that the average punter had no choice but to believe what they kept reading. It’s the strongest real basis for a new vote.
It’s either going to be a bad deal for the UK, or on March 31, there will be no deal. There’s a lot of pretending that nothing will change, the “momentum” of the UK is so large but the truth is, this is going to change everything for generations across all areas of life and travel.
What do agents need to know
Here is my top five for agents to be thinking about when booking travel between February and June next year.
- Check travel insurance – earthquakes in Lombok have taught us that if nothing else, you need to know your fine print. What constitutes “Europe” may be about to change.
- If in doubt – confirm and reconfirm – Travel cash flow is complex, banking charges will go up, hidden fees can sneak in, who knows, a bank or two may disappear…. Having a written record for your pax you have checked in advance shows good due diligence.
- Check visas – it should not affect Australians too much, in theory. But the balance of power and border points are going to change. More and more grumpy people will be going across borders, it will take longer, customs people are human and given enough annoying interactions and any fine detail scrutinised. Be safe, not sorry
- Currency and cost – the pound has already dropped significantly, but nothing like the formalisation of a world changing order to impact further. It should mostly be good for Australians, but who knows. It could also be bargain hunting season if British travellers lose their appetite for going to Europe next summer
- Map out the escape routes – the worst-case scenarios have planes grounded, people swelling at borders, and a million tourists not being prepared to get out. Think about Bangkok riots, floods, Lombok, Bali, anything where a stack of people suddenly need to get into a country or out of one – got passwords and accounts active and ready to go for an obscure train journey and ferry ride to an airport?
No matter how you look at it, Brexit’s impact will be felt for decades. Make sure it’s not your bank account and travel reputation that suffers.