Fears over soaring prices, increased bureaucracy and a less than friendly reception top the list of worries for British holidaymakers in a post-Brexit Europe.
Many travellers plan to take their future holidays in the US, Caribbean, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand or in the UK instead, according to a poll by Cheapflights.co.uk.
The company found that more than three quarters of the 2,000 people surveyed are concerned about holidaying in a post-Brexit Europe.
The findings emerged ahead of tomorrow’s triggering of Article 50, which starts the process of the UK leaving the European Union.
Almost half of those asked cited the potential impact on the strength of the pound and less value in their holiday wallets as their primary worry.
This was followed by concerns around losing guaranteed local health care via the EHIC European health insurance card (36%), rumours of visas to visit EU destinations (35%) and higher air fares (33%).
Nearly a third (31%) highlighted a concern that EU residents might be less welcoming to British tourists, and others (20%) noted fears around the return of the punitive mobile-phone charges phased out in recent years.
The survey also revealed that a third who are likely to holiday less in Europe following Brexit will opt for a domestic break instead.
Company analysis of 25 million searches across 18 months suggests that consumers are making significantly fewer searches for flights to the EU in favour of longer-haul destinations.
Searches for flights to Spain are 14% lower since the period prior to the Brexit, while demand for France, Italy and Portugal is also down.
By contrast, searches for flights to the Caribbean, Thailand, Dubai, the US, Australia and New Zealand are all 20% higher on average for the same period.
Cheapflights managing director, Andrew Shelton, said: “Brits are clearly concerned about how Brexit will affect travel, specifically regarding holidays to Europe.
“The referendum result could usher in a fundamental shift in the travel habits of Brits, seeing them take fewer, but longer, holidays each year to more exotic destinations – rather than the ‘fly and flop’ trips to the Med, or the short city breaks, to which we’ve got accustomed as the skies over Europe opened up in the last two decades.”
He added: “Whilst the long-term impact of Brexit on flight prices remains uncertain, fears of immediate price hikes seem to be unfounded.
“Analysis of average lowest return fares to our most popular destinations shows that, across the board, flight prices have fallen in the nine months since Britain voted to leave the EU.
“Average fares to New Zealand, for example, are 22% lower, which equates to a saving of more than £900 for a family of four.
“Likewise, flights to Spain, France and Portugal have dropped by 18%, 15% and 14% respectively, giving Brits the perfect excuse to seek out some bargains to their old favourites on the Continent now, before the UK’s 2019 departure.”
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