Comment: Travel can shape manifestos

Comment: Travel can shape manifestos

General election years are traditionally never particularly good for travel, so it had been considered a positive for the industry that 2017 was to be election-free.

That was until Tuesday when the prime minister announced the shock news that we will be going to the polls again on June 8.

I’m sure many of you will have felt much like Bristol pensioner Brenda, whose exasperated reaction – “Not another one!” – made her a Twitter star.

Following last year’s divisive Brexit referendum, which coincided with the Euro 2016 football tournament, no one in travel was eager for another major political event.

However, like it or not, we’ve now got one to deal with, prompting warnings that there could be serious consequences depending on the nature of the political battle ahead, and the outcome.

The election announcement saw the pound strengthen. Commentators said this reflected the view that if the Conservatives’ gamble to win a bigger mandate pays off, it could herald a softer Brexit.

Inevitably, Brexit will dominate this election. But after last year’s referendum result, no one will be confident second‑guessing how the British public will vote.

And with just six weeks of campaigning, the surprise election announcement gives travel’s lobbyists little time to bring their influence to bear on political manifestos.

The public may be weary of politics, but sectors like travel can’t afford not to take this opportunity to determine the direction this country will take for the next five years.

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