This week has been the travel industry’s turn to be drawn into the quagmire of Britain’s Brexit politics. The combination of political spin and irresponsible journalism has only stoked an already healthy fire.
Firstly, politicians keen to fuel the nation’s fear on ‘all things change’, were reportedly about to issue a no-Brexit-deal warning suggesting that people should not go on holiday after 29th March 2019.
Scaremongering, to say the least.
Secondly, The Sunday Times plastered the information on their front page. Thereby putting an unfair and unnecessary strain on an industry that will in fact be logistically relatively unaffected by whatever Brexit decisions are finally implemented.
When AITO, Nomadic Thoughts’ trade association, sought clarity from Downing Street they were advised that The Sunday Times’ information was ‘categorically untrue’, which, while a relief, further compounded frustration in the travel industry.
So although on the face of it this is a ‘nothing story’ that should no more than beg the question of why one of our leading broadsheet newspapers decided to run with it in the first place, the potential damage to the travel industry could still be considerable.
The timing is also particularly insensitive, as 21st December is tourism’s busiest UK outbound travel day of the year. To be followed five days later by the start of the peak-booking season.
The plain truth is that there is no reason for anyone not to plan and book a holiday, or travel before, during or after 29th March 2019.
The European Commission and UK Government have confirmed that flights will still operate in and out of the UK. The Government reported on Wednesday this week (19th December) on their no-deal contingency plan to keep flights in operation. The EU announced in November that UK travellers will be able to visit the EU without a visa.
So my advice is, get your diaries out and plan a proper escape from all this Brexit baloney.