Brits fear Brexit could hurt holidays

Sarah Marshall

"Should I stay or should I go?" sang Joe Strummer from The Clash, and that Eighties lyric will no doubt be rattling around brains as Britain's June 23 EU Referendum approaches.

The debate has reached such a level of frenzy that a chain of London hot dog restaurants has even launched a dish in its honour. Advertised as being "half the size for double the price", Herman Ze German's "Ze Big Brexit Dog" begs the question: What's wurst, in or out?

According to a survey conducted by travel insurance company, 44 per cent of travellers fear travel will become more difficult if the UK leaves the EU. The survey of more than 3000 UK residents also found that 33 per cent of UK travellers say that ease of travel in the EU has a bearing on how they will vote in the EU Referendum.

It's true, Brexit could impact on the cost of holidays overseas.

According to the Treasury's research, a Brexit vote could cause the pound to fall by 12 per cent, increasing the cost of accommodation, food and drinks for those travelling overseas.

Travel money provider FairFX says that could see the daily spend of a European break rising to nearly STG100 ($A194.50) a day at the most expensive destinations. They say, post-Brexit, a European holiday could cost nearly STG10 a day more - totalling STG70 per person for a week's break or STG280 for a family of four.

Another issue concerning holidaymakers is a potential hike in flight prices.

Andrew Shelton, MD of the global flight search and travel deals platform, comments: "We saw an increase in searches for flights to European destinations of over 40 per cent when the referendum was announced in February as Brits looked to book flights before a potential price hike in the event of a Brexit.

"Since then, demand has steadied to a 20-22 per cent increase year on year. That suggests Brits are concerned by the potential for an increase in flight prices - but there is a lot of uncertainty."

Research commissioned by travel deal website Travelzoo, in conjunction with Bournemouth University, goes one step further to suggest leaving the EU could cost up to STG4.1 billion a year in international tourist spending. The research, conducted in the UK, France, German, Spain and Italy, found that a third of Italian, Spanish and German travellers - and a quarter of French - say they will be less inclined to travel to the UK if Britain votes to leave Europe.

In addition to the loss of income, there's also the potential loss of benefits EU membership has afforded over the years - including the EHIC card for health cover, improvements to ATOL package protection and delay and cancellation compensation.

It's a lot for Brits to consider before casting their vote at the polling station, and proof that the future of travel is playing a significant role in shaping public opinion.