In an era where political parties masquerade as fact checkers and others are happy to peddle fake news, it’s refreshing when cold, hard facts come along.
Last week, the Seasonal Businesses in Travel (SBIT) coalition helpfully obliged. And for anyone working in travel who still believes Brexit to be a positive idea, their survey of 65 travel companies makes for uncomfortable reading.
The study was a follow-up to a piece from August 2018 entitled A Crisis is Looming. The name of its latest report, A Crisis Upon Us, is even more blunt.
But, given the statistics, it’s easy to see why: statistics like the UK travel firms surveyed have cut an average of 30% of their workforce since 2016; or that their holiday programmes have been cut by 19%, equating to nearly 66,000 fewer ski holidays on sale to the UK consumer in 2020 compared with 2016 (p6).
The reason, says SBIT, is the very real fear that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, and even with a negotiated exit, UK companies will likely lose the right they currently enjoy to frictionlessly move staff around Europe to operate these holidays.
This, SBIT says, means “the door will be left wide open to European based multi-nationals dominating the package travel market”. Oh, the irony.
And what does this mean for talent entering the travel industry? I’ve lost count of the number of CEOs and MDs who began their career in travel as a resort rep – thanks to freedom of movement.
The ramifications of this being lost are severe both short- and long-term for the industry. As TTG went to press, the election outcome was unclear. But regardless, it’s never too late to lobby your MP. Can exiting the EU really be worth the cost of people’s livelihoods?
See next week’s TTG for SBIT’s report in full.