The continuing debate over whether the UK should stay or go (from a Brexit perspective) rumbles on as we edge ever closer to the impending EU ‘in out’ referendum which is pencilled in to take place this June; and to decide once and for all if Britain is going to extend its working relationship with the rest of the member states or opt to go it alone henceforth. And along with infinite reasons to stay or go being bandied around by both camps on an almost hourly basis for weeks now, it’s now the turn of the travel industry to have its say on the whole shebang. Essentially it’s issuing stark warning that ski holidays will end up costing British holidaymakers considerably more (potentially) if the country votes for a Brexit next month. According to a number of reputable news-breaking sources, many leading travel organisations and tour operators have come out and predicted that a Brexit would have serious implications in terms of the predicted cost of ski holidays for those tourists heading off to alpine resorts located within the European Union if and when, as a nation, we’re not.
Some of the biggest names in the dedicated ski holiday-providing sector have forecast that increased prices would quickly take effect from the moment the UK withdraws its hitherto economic and political links with other member states, with the voices of dissent led by ABTA; along with tour operators Zenith Holidays and Le Ski, Monarch Airlines and Snowsport Industries of Great Britain (SIGB) committee members. As far as the MD of Le Ski is concerned, Nick Morgan told www.telegraph.co.uk (and those considering voting no in June); “You can basically add £50 to £100 onto the cost of your ski holiday if we leave.” Sharing Morgan’s fears for a dramatic shake-up in the cost of skiing holidays in the future should Britain opt out of interference from Brussels, Zenith Holiday’s director, Katie Waddington (also in conversation with The Telegraph) added; “Ski holidays will likely cost more than 10% if we vote Brexit.” ABTA is well-placed to make its observations, not least because – in collaboration with Deloitte – it compiled a recent report which investigated the possible impact on the travel sector Brexit would instigate, with its far-reaching research concluding that; ‘following a Brexit, travel is likely to become more expensive.’
Skiing and Snowboarding Enthusiasts Could be Hardest Hit by Increased Holiday Prices in Event of Brexit
Examining a host of factors which would influence change on a potentially dramatic scale, the report’s authors drew on facts and figures relating to the travel industry here in the UK and posed a variety of questions which remain unanswered just weeks before the nation goes to the ballot boxes. Citing the new taxes and levies which could be introduced (dependent on any revised trade agreements which were thrashed out once the UK had parted company with the rest of the EU) and the underlying fact that travel businesses were also likely to increase prices so as to absorb extra-curricular costs necessitated during a transitional period in the immediate wake of a Brexit, the report intonates that prices passed onto the holidaymaker could quickly escalate. Especially so as existing rights offered under current agreements and pan-EU member state treaties would cease to be relied upon in the event of Britain pulling out.
Identifying the key areas which would directly impact prices rises for the holidaymaker in the short to medium term, and chief among them is travel insurance policies; which some experts believe could even double. This might well hinge on the European Health Insurance Card scheme which has proved very popular in recent years with tourists and travellers per se, and something which – according to both Zenith Holidays and ABTA – prove pivotal sooner rather than later depending on the outcome of the referendum and its upshots. The EHIC presently affords Brits either visiting (or working in) the EU access to free or reduced cost healthcare provisions, yet – as Zenith points out – could be set to change. Waddington told The Telegraph; “When employing non-EU chalet staff, the insurance premium we have to pay to cover them to work abroad doubles.” Which, together with an extra staffing cost having a knock-on effect with the price of ski holidays, travel insurance premiums would also be next in line to be adversely affected by change; unless that is Britain’s powerbrokers then negotiated a favourable packages which resulted in the UK remaining part of the EHIC initiative.
Elsewhere and the currency exchange could well change after a Brexit vote, whereby goods and services provided to holidaymakers when staying at a ski resort might be subject to price increases, together with quotes for skiing and snowboarding-based holiday deals becoming noticeably higher generally. Flights are likely to be affected as well, warn travel insurance experts, should Britain reject the EU, because here and now airlines enjoy the benefits of the European Union’s open skies agreements which effectively allows us to access each member country’s airspace with no quibble. However this would have to be renegotiated with individual countries after a Brexit, with Monarch Airlines implying that hikes in air fares would result one part of a double whammy which would also mean a decrease in scheduled flights coming and going from the UK to EU countries.