Hays Travel will be more “careful and cautious” about its growth plans following the vote to leave the EU.
John Hays, managing director of the 135-strong agency chain, said the decision to leave the EU had left him feeling “dismayed, and extremely sad on behalf of the country’s younger people”.
He said he was a lot less optimistic about the state of the industry following the vote, adding that it was inevitable that the travel industry would feel a knock‑on effect from the Brexit vote, with a likely dip in the economy resulting in consumers having less discretionary spend.
He predicted “a lot of uncertainty in the medium term”, with the weakening of the pound “reflecting a vote by the rest of the world that the UK economy isn’t going to be in great shape”.
“The only thing we can do is get on with it,” he said. “In my eyes it’s regrettable that this has happened, but this is where we are and we have to accept it. I feel so incredibly sad about it all.”
Asked whether the decision would slow expansion for Hays Travel, he said: “We just need to make sure we are very careful.
“We’ll have to be more careful, cautious and conscious of how the economy is performing and hope that the effect isn’t as bad as it could be.
“I’m a lot less optimistic about things than I was a week ago. I can’t believe how 24 hours can change everything for the country.”
Sales following the vote were “OK”, according to Hays, but he admitted: “It wasn’t a wow over the weekend, but at the same time it didn’t fall off the edge of a cliff.”
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