How much do we love our overseas holidays?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Algarve -beach vista

Part of the Algarve in Portugal. Surely there will be as many if not more Brits there in 2018?

According to the European Travel Commission (an EU body promoting Europe to the rest of the world) more than 3 in 4 destinations reported some form of growth from the UK in the year-to-date. In their words, “a weakened pound failed to deter British holidaymakers to travel internationally.”

The question on the lips of destinations is whether that growth will continue or will Brits tighten their purse strings in either 2018 or in 2019? With inflationary pressures hitting British wage packets, will our love of holidays abroad be dented by having less cash in our pockets?

In previous economic belt-tightening times, the market for holidays abroad has not suffered unduly. The feeling seems to be that “we will have our holiday come what may.”

Surely the year 2018 will be one that many will view as the last year that holidaymakers can enjoy holidaying in Europe without whatever measures might come into force on the day that the UK leaves the EU. If a visa system comes into being, there will be no visas in the EU for Britons in 2018. If flight restrictions come into play there will be none in 2018. That will only apply from 2019 onwards.

The only clouds on the horizon for 2018 are a further possible depreciation in sterling and the aforementioned squeeze on pay packets caused by inflation. But the view is that inflation may begin to drop from the 3% peak at the moment and that any sterling depreciation is probably no greater than that which happened between in the months after the June 2016 vote. Britons coped with these issues this year and still holidayed so my view is that that will continue next year. And that the holiday season will be boyant.

On the other hand, 2019 may be different and how that pans out will depend on the Brexit negotiations.

UPDATE: 17/11/2017

What should be more concerning for the UK is that the ETC says that international tourist arrivals to Europe grew 8% in the first eight months of the year compared to the same period in 2016. International visits to the UK were also 8% according to the latest Office of National Statistics figures. So we are treading water rather than expanding despite the sterling weakness being an attraction for overseas visitors to come here.

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