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'Brexit risks millions of pounds of business'

'Brexit risks millions of pounds of business'

Meanwhile, Seasonal Businesses in Travel (SBIT), a coalition of more than 200 British outbound travel companies, has this week warned Brexit is already costing British holiday companies millions of pounds in lost business and risks plunging the travel sector into “years of uncertainty”.


SBIT spokesperson Diane Palumbo said while she was heartened by May’s threat to Tory Brexiteers that a rebellion risked “no Brexit at all”, the withdrawal agreement offered little more certainty at a time when SBIT’s ski operator members were trying to plan for the 2019/20 season.


“It’s not good for confidence at all,” she said. “We face years of complete uncertainty. Trade agreements take around four years on average to negotiate. Tour operators plan their programmes three, five, seven years in advance. Many have moved to flexible, short-term contracts. This not good for continuity.


“Our business models are built on economies of scale to deliver value. We can’t do that effectively now. Ski company members of SBIT alone have sold 20,000 fewer holidays this season compared with 2016 - and that’s the minimum, the smallest figure. It’s millions of pounds of lost business.


“We’re selling more short breaks than we did in 2016 too. This hurts the resorts; it affects their Saturday-Saturday model of efficiency - cold beds, ski hire, lift passes, and so on. Everyone loses out.”


Palumbo, sales and marketing director of Skiworld, added the operator had deployed 10% fewer staff overseas for the 2018/19 season as a result.

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