Assurances have been given about outbound tourism post-Brexit by the British ambassador to Portugal.

Speaking at the Abta Travel Convention in the Azores, Kirsty Hayes said there were “genuine grounds for optimism” for the travel sector once the UK leaves the European Union.

“We must ensure tourism continues to thrive and that low-cost airlines can continue to fly between the UK and EU,” she told delegates.

Hayes also stressed the importance of the relationship between Abta and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

“We may be leaving the EU but that doesn’t mean we are leaving Europe. We can approach the next chapter with confidence, she said.

Portugal’s tourism secretary Ana Mendes Godinho issued an upbeat message about UK tourism to the country and revealed that discussions have started with Abta about how to drive tourism sustainably between the two countries over the next ten years.

“We are on of the fastest growing economies in the world and tourism is one of the main drivers; that’s why it’s so important,” she said.

“The British market is our first market. This is why we will do everything we can to ensure the flow between the two countries will be smooth.”

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