Putting the decision off

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

The front page of Metro last Thursday which, until corrected, suggested visas would be needed to visit France

Brexit never seems to leave the headlines but now I detect that the holidaymaker is concerned as well.

After the big rally of remainers in London yesterday, the conference call that Theresa May had with 150 business leaders, Macron’s misquotation and any number of politician pronouncements from both  sides, maybe people are seriously thinking about their next holidays.

During the week, Brittany Ferries said that it has seen a lack of confidence of booking journeys next year. Stena Line says that ports aren’t ready to copy with Brexit effects which isn’t surprising since none of us know what they will be. So far the two big tour operators, TUI and Thomas Cook haven’t commented in any meaningful way but there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that people are wary. It wasn’t helped by Michael O’Leary, boss of Ryanair, stating that planes might be grounded for up to a couple of weeks over the leaving date. And then for the president of France to say that Britons living in France would be deemed illegal immigrants and that all UK visitors would need visas seemed to crown the despondency. But his office was quick to retract the statement by putting it down to the fact that he spoke in English and mixed up what he really wanted to say.

One tour operator which operates the brands Emerald Waterways and Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours has brought out its own Brexit edict that there will no additional costs on top of the brochure prices regardless of what happens to the Brexit talks.

One group I know was planning on a river cruise through Germany and central Europe next April as an Easter outing for members has decided not to go ahead since they are concerned about the potential hassle of passport controls in each place, what visas that might be required and the potential hassle of obtaining those visas in the couple of weeks between the date the UK leaves the EU and the date on which the cruise starts.

I canvassed our three local travel agents to see how business was doing for next spring and summer and all said it was behind the numbers that they expected. And guess what? Those that are booking are looking at non-EU destinations like Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco and further afield. Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Greece seems to be receiving less interest from those planning a holiday next year.

It wouldn’t surprise me if summer 2019 bookings were low until we all know what is happening!

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