Wide disparity between long haul and short haul prices since referendum, research suggests

Wide disparity between long haul and short haul prices since referendum, research suggests

The cost of long haul holidays has risen by almost 7% since the Brexit vote while short haul trips are cheaper, according to new research.

The study by OTA Holidaysplease found that UK consumers will have to spend £483 million more a year for long haul holidays.

The ‘like for like’ Brexit price comparison was based on a review of holidays booked in the days leading up to the EU referendum vote. The company then re-priced the same holidays with the same tour operators, 10 days after the Brexit vote.

A basket of more than £100,000-worth of holidays was covered with the results showing that the cost of the identical long haul trip had risen by 6.9%.

This was in line with almost a 9% drop in the pound versus the dollar in the month after the Brexit vote.

On a £2,000 long haul holiday this is a rise of £138. With UK consumers spending around £7 billion a year on long haul holidays, a 6.9% price rise equates to UK consumers having to spend £483 million more a year, Holidaysplease calculated.

However, the cost of holidays to European destinations fell by 0.7%.

Company director Charles Duncombe said: “Usually with long haul holidays tour operators will buy the dollars required to pay the hotel at the time you book. So if you book your long haul holiday at a time when the pound is weak then your holiday will be more expensive.

“On the other hand, operators who sell European holidays will often reserve their currency at the start of the selling season when they need to put prices in their brochures. This will have been many months ago, before the Brexit vote and so they can keep their prices low.”

Looking forward, he added: “If I could predict where the pound will go over the next 12 months then I need to change jobs.

“What I can say though is that if you are looking to book a short haul holiday I would probably do it quite quickly before the hedged currency reserves at the short haul tour operators run out.

“However, if you are looking to book a long haul holiday then I would keep a close eye on the currency markets and as soon as you see the pound start to strengthen I would book.

“Most importantly, I would get a guarantee from my tour operator that they will not change the price after you book.

“Under travel regulations operators can change your price even after you book if the currency moves by a significant amount. So get that guarantee from them.”


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