“Business as usual”, because there will be no immediate effects to the way people travel, is the message to Falkland Islands travel trade and consumer, following the British people Brexit vote for change in the future, underlined in a release Tony Mason, Director of International Communications for the Falklands Tourist Board.
While Prime Minister David Cameron reassured in his resignation speech following the referendum results “that there will be no immediate affects to the way people travel” our message to the local Falkland Islands travel trade and consumer is that it's business as usual. We accept that the British people have voted for change in the future and acknowledge that this is an industry that adapts more quickly than most.
The Falkland Islands Tourist Board are active members of ANTOR, Association of National Tourist Offices and Representatives. ANTOR has called on the industry to work together in order to make this new situation as trouble free as possible. ANTOR and its members will lobby governments for negotiations that provide continued freedom of movement, ease of access, security and bi-lateral trading arrangements and give the consumer the confidence needed to continue to travel.
Mr. Mason, Director, International Communications said he respects and supports the rights of the British people. They have democratically voted and their desire to exit the European Union must be acknowledged and respected. Mr. Mason said he is confident that the Falklands will not see a reduction of tourists in the upcoming season.
”We may see a slight decline in the following year from the UK and European markets as consumer confidence has been damaged and currencies weakened. To ensure our tourism markets are sustainable, the tourist board will be increasing marketing efforts in the North American and Australian markets, whose outbound tourism markets are not directly affected by the UK’s exit from the European Union. While there is uncertainty about the future at the moment, the United Kingdom is still strong, British and European citizens love to travel, and we will work hard to sustain our tourism markets from the European Union. I note that while the pound has dropped significantly, it is still strong against the US Dollar. The majority of cruise lines sell in US Dollars making cruise holidays one of the most economical ways to travel.
Until the UK officially leaves the European Union, not sooner than two years’ time, there will be no changes to holiday arrangements including those already booked for next year. Travelers are as free to move between the United Kingdom and the European Union as they were before the vote, European Health Insurance cards remain valid and regulations such as Air Passenger Rights remain in place and there will be no changes to passports, visa requirements, which queue to stand in/exit to take and unlimited goods can be brought home until the United Kingdom officially leaves the European Union.
Tracey Poggio, Chairman of ANTOR (Association of National Tourist Offices and Representatives) commented “Our members are saddened by the outcome of the referendum but respect that the British people have voiced a desire to leave the European Union. However, this should and will not change the British tourist’s love for travel and in particular travel to and within Europe”.
Poggio continued “At this moment in time, the industry needs to stand firm together. We need to reassure tourists that they can continue to travel to and within Europe and to have confidence in booking their holidays for the future. ANTOR members are ready and willing to assist agents and tour operators to achieve this”.
However, members remain unclear how the potential future changes will impact on travel to their destinations.