Free travel within Europe, visa-free travel between the UK and the EU, the protection of consumer rights, operational stability for UK businesses and ensuring opportunities for growth are the top priorities outlined by ABTA, the UK’s leading association of travel agents and tour operators, ahead of Brexit negotiations.
The key points have been included in ABTA’s “Making a Success of Brexit for Travel and Tourism” report, aiming to secure the rights and protections of UK travelers. Representing more than 1,200 members, ABTA is calling on the government to focus on these as Brexit negotiations begin.
According to ABTA, Brexit opens up possibilities for new partnerships and relationships as the EU is an important market for UK domestic and outbound travel and tourism businesses. But it requires ”fine tuning of laws and regulations in relation to travel’’.
”It is essential that the travel industry can continue to prosper post-Brexit and that holidaymakers and business travelers can continue to travel freely and enjoy the important benefits currently open to them,’’ the association said in a statement.
In 2015, UK residents made 37 million holiday and business trips to the EU and EU nationals made over 16 million holiday and business trips to the UK.
“As the UK begins to extricate itself from the European Union, we want to work with the government to help them make Brexit a success,’’ said ABTA chief executive Mark Tanzer.
”We believe that the benefits that UK holidaymakers currently enjoy, such as visa-free travel and the EHIC card should be prioritized and protected. The government must also make sure transition agreements are in place if needed. Travel and tourism is one of the UK’s largest industries and it is vital that the government makes sure it can continue to thrive during and after the negotiations.”