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How the EU has benefitted UK holidaymakers and business travellers

April 5, 2016 10:38 AM
Originally published by East Suffolk Liberal Democrats

EU flag with suitcase and Union Jack luggage label

A report* on what Brexit might mean for UK travel has been published by ABTA, the UK's largest travel association (whose members sell £32 billion of holidays and other travel arrangements each year, as travel agents and tour operators), in collaboration with Deloitte.

ABTA reports that 76% of the holidays that UK holidaymakers take abroad are visits to EU countries, a fifth of them to visit friends and family. In 2014, UK people took 29.3 million holidays in the EU, with the top destinations being Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Greece. And 68% of the business trips made from the UK are to EU countries. Travelling in the opposite direction, 63% of people coming from abroad to take holidays in the UK, and 73% of business visitors, are from EU countries.

The infographic** accompanying the report on the ABTA website identifies nine key ways in which the EU has benefitted UK holidaymakers:

  • financial protection for package holidays
  • compensation for delayed flights
  • access to free healthcare
  • open skies, more flights
  • caps on mobile phone charges
  • border-free travel
  • bring home unlimited goods
  • cleaner beaches
  • freedom to work.

Key findings in ABTA's report include the following:

"Tourism and travel trade between the UK and EU has been facilitated by the free movement of goods and services, investment and people across the EU. A Brexit could jeopardise this free movement, and affect the flow of trade and travel."

"The UK travelling consumer could be faced with increased costs if an exit vote led to a sustained deterioration in the value of sterling, making foreign currency destinations more expensive in sterling. Consumers would also need to cover any additional health insurance costs, should the UK exit the European Health Insurance Card scheme."




* http://abta.com/about-us/press/abta-launches-new-report-what-brexit-might-mean-for-uk-travel

** http://abta.com/working-with-the-industry/industry-issues/the-eu-your-holiday-and-you