Global 2016: Referendum uncertainty is biggest threat, say travel chiefs

Global 2016: Referendum uncertainty is biggest threat, say travel chiefs

Any uncertainty caused by the EU referendum next month is likely to harm the travel sector, says the head of Global Travel Group parent dnata Travel’s B-B division.

Speaking at the agency consortium’s annual conference being held this year in the home of dnata, Dubai, Andrew Botterill said it was difficult to know how to prepare for any result.

He said: “Our industry never performs well when there is uncertainty. When there is instability or uncertainty people react negatively by putting off decisions.

“I think that’s a problem. Depending on which way the outcome goes there will be a significant amount of uncertainty. If we vote to leave no one really knows what that means.

“It’s very difficult to prepare because frankly, it’s difficult to know what to prepare for. It’s that uncertainty that’s the killer.”

Botterill said the outcome will all sorts of bearings on aspects of business like currency hedging as well as holiday sales and boardooms will be trying to work out the implications.

But he added: “But we will only know the day after the referendum.”

Lisa McAuley, UK commercial director of luxury cruise line Silversea, said the sector is probably a bit more resilient than most in terms of the expected impact on bookings.

But she added: “Businesses forecast on certainty and there is a lot of uncertainty at the moment, so that makes it a little bit harder.

“I think the closer you are to the vote, the more extreme opinions you are hearing, and people are waking up to this.”


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