We're not ones to get too involved in political upheavals, nor to comment on a person's individual stance on certain matters – but this most recent piece of research, from the travel association Abta, caught our attention; and it just so happens to be tied in with the biggest political story of 2016: the EU referendum.
It seems that after conducting careful research, Abta have concluded that should Britain leave the EU it could prove "disastrous" for holidaymakers and the travel industry as a whole. The research highlights a number of ways in which Britain's presence in the EU has been beneficial. As reported by the Telegraph, here are the ways in which travel could be disrupted by a potential Brexit:
- We currently enjoy border free travel
British travellers currently enjoy border free travel across the EU, allowing us to explore Europe without being subjected to excess checks or security measures, and ensuring we are able to make the most of the continental community on our doorstep.
- EU regulations means further reaching and cheaper flights
EU regulations have encouraged the flight market to expand, so there are now more flights to different countries all at a relatively cheap cost. Weekend breaks to a different country will never be as easy as it is now.
- Excellent compensation if something goes wrong
British travellers are also well protected from various issues. If a flight is delayed or cancelled we are entitled to compensation, and we also benefit from financial protection should a package holiday fall through.
- Free healthcare services for those in trouble
We also benefit significantly from free or reduced cost treatments at EU hospitals should we need healthcare when abroad. Although you still need travel insurance, access to public hospitals outside Britain is definitely helpful.
- Mobile phone charges have been capped
A new piece of legislation only recently introduced means it is now cheaper to use mobile phones within the EU. Data charges have been capped and in 2017 charges will be dropped altogether – something we could miss out on if we leave.
A number of other benefits, such as cleaner beaches, the ability to bring home foreign goods and a freedom to work without a permit were also mentioned in the report. And with 76% of foreign holidays from the UK taking place within EU countries, and 20% of us visiting friends and family in EU countries, the above mentioned repercussions could be enough to sway the votes of some.
Another recent article on the Telegraph highlights the potential for higher airfares, a weaker pound against the euro and a huge impact on duty free goods.
It seems that most professionals are worried about the impact leaving the EU will have on the travel industry; what are your thoughts?