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17 Oct 2018

BY Tom Parry

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TRFBLI

UK position pre-Brexit 'weaker' than industry needs, ETOA boss warns

The UK is in “a weaker position” heading into Brexit than the travel and tourism industry needs, the boss of the European Tour Operators’ Association (ETOA) has warned.

Brexit, EU, Britain deck of cards iStock-538159588

Tom Jenkins, ETOA chief executive, told TTG he believed that since the EU Referendum of June 2016, the UK government had “not planned very well" for Brexit and its implications on the travel sector.

 

“Although there is not a lot we can do except tell the industry to prepare and make sure they have contingency plans in place,” Jenkins said.

 

ETOA, which represents more than 900 European-based tour operators, tourist boards, hotels, attractions and travel suppliers, held its annual European Tourism Summit in Switzerland earlier this month.

 

Jenkins said its members would be meeting again on October 29 for its latest round of discussion on Brexit, with the association’s main concerns surrounding border control, availability and deployment of staff and the Tour Operator’s Margin Scheme post-Brexit.

 

“You would expect not very much to change immediately following [EU exit date] March 29, 2019, but the uncertainty surrounding all of these issues must be finalised," Jenkins urged.

 

“We have thousands of EU nationals working for our members and things like securing a competent border control system are crucial for attracting visitors to the UK post-Brexit.”

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