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Travel What 'Brexit' Could Mean for Travelers

22:02  30 march  2017
22:02  30 march  2017 Source:   cntraveler.com

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London's famed Big Ben clock tower. © Getty London's famed Big Ben clock tower. Despite years and years of countries threatening to leave the European Union (here's looking at you, Greece), no country has come as precipitously close as Britain, which votes on June 23 whether or not to say toodle-pip to the EU. Analysts have already estimated how a potential Brexit would affect everything from trade to immigration—but what about travel? Here's what you should know.

Flight fares may go up

Budget, no-frills carriers like easyJet have helped make travel to the U.K. from various parts of Europe seamless—and cheaper than ever. Should the U.K. exit the 28-nation EU, it would mean that new air service agreements may have to be negotiated, and fares could potentially increase. Currently, the 'Open Skies' agreement allows for more airlines, more routes, and lower fares between EU member states: “The single aviation area gives airlines freedom to fly across Europe,” an easyJet spokesman told The Telegraph, “and since its introduction passengers have seen fares fall by around 40 per cent and routes increase by 180 per cent.”

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According to a report by the Association of British Travel Agents, some 70 percent of jobs in London's travel and tourism sector are dependent on migrants. Given that one of the tenets of the "Leave" supporters is reforming immigration policies and curbing the number of arrivals to the U.K., it's possible that an eventual downturn in immigration could lead to short-staffing in the travel and tourism industries. An estimated 63,000 jobs could be lost.

(But so could the value of the pound)

The U.S. dollar to British pound has long been less than equal. (Sort of) good news: Though a Brexit would lead to a drop in value of the pound and subsequently increase the cost of travel for U.K. residents, it would make travel to the U.K. cheaper for U.S. visitors. As the polls continue to indicate a favored Brexit, the pound's value has already fallen.

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TheU.K. could become less of a destination

London is one of the world's most popular cities, and outside of the capital, everything from tiny, picturesque towns to the magnificent Scottish Highlands draw tourists from around the world. But according to travel-deals publisher Travelzoo, enthusiasm for travel to the U.K. may decrease in the wake of a Brexit: one-third of travelers from Germany, Italy, and Spain—and a quarter from France—say they would be less inclined to travel to the U.K. in the event of a "Leave" vote; 10 percent of travelers from Canada and 12 percent from the U.S. said the same. It is estimated that a Brexit could cost the U.K. tourism industry as much as £4.1 billion ($5.9 billion) annually in international tourist spending alone.

But still...

In the immediate wake of a "Yes" vote, not much will change at all: though Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed he will be quick to cut ties, the exit strategy would take at least two years. Even then, other government officials have put the number closer to four years. At present, polls show a neck-and-neck race, with a high number of undecided voters. View our complete list of the best places to visit in the U.S.

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This is interesting!