The Brexit referendum that took place in June in the U.K. made the hospitality market fall, but then it managed to regain its positions according to the data published in Western Europe report by GBTA Foundation.
Brexit has the potential to shape the market, but this may happen slower than expected before. In long-term prospect, there can be challenges for business travel due to complications with trade, jobs and investment. GBTA also foresees specific problems that hospitality industry might face in future. Once the Brexit is done, that would mean the end of open skies policy for European carriers, resulting in higher ticket price. If the EU and the U.K. carriers do not negotiate routes and gates, it may also cause schedule adjustment, so fewer airplanes connect them. Cellular connection fares would also grow due to roaming fees. The possibility of visa requirement to enter the U.K. is another threat. If that happens, it will be more difficult for business and leisure travellers from the EU to visit the country. When making purchases abroad, travellers from the EU and the U.K may face troubles with acceptance of their credit cards. Finally, UK businessmen will be at higher risk of huge healthcare related fees as their European Insurance Card will stop working.
Despite such potential problems, the forecast of GBTA regarding the development of business travel is still positive. The total spending of Western Europe’s business travellers is expected to grow in coming years. However, the growth has been adjusted since the previous forecast. Now the spending in 2016 is expected to reach US$210.7 billion in 2016, showing the growth of 6.0%, and reach US$220.6 billion in 2017, ending the year with the growth of 4.7%.