I can’t be alone in admitting my eyes glaze over and I cover my ears at any mention of the European Union. However, this week the EU demands attention.
At a summit this week, David Cameron may or may not secure an EU deal. Boris Johnson or another will emerge as leader of the campaign for a British exit (Brexit) and we will be headed for a referendum.
Many in the sector will welcome easyJet’s Carolyn McCall speaking out on the benefits of EU membership.
Others may think ‘She would say that’ given the extent to which EU deregulation boosted easyJet’s fortunes.
Julia Lo Bue-Said of the Advantage Travel Partnership expressed the dilemma facing most businesses when asked her opinion on Brexit this week, saying: “It would be premature to comment without knowing the detail.”
She also captured the dilemma facing industry organisations when she said: “I can’t speak on behalf of the membership.”
Alan Bowen, of the Association of Atol Companies, was typically forthright when he told Travel Weekly: “I’m a big supporter of Europe, but I’m aware a lot of people take the view we need to pull up the drawbridge.”
The sector must await developments it can’t control but which could have a significant impact on business.
Consumers are buying more-comprehensive travel insurance as they become more aware of issues in destinations.
So what a pity UK regulation deters many agents from selling this, and so many holidaymakers go uninsured.
And what an irony that we must look to an EU directive to turn around the situation – should Britain still be in the EU in 2018.
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