New research released today by UK-based online payment service provider emerchantpay suggests that persistent uncertainty over Brexit has led to one in five Britons altering their holiday plans.
According to the research, 12 per cent of would-be holidaymakers from the UK have delayed booking a trip this year in order to find out how the chaos will unfold, while four per cent have opted to holiday in the UK rather than heading overseas, and another three per cent have opted to head outside of the European Union.
In terms of specific concerns, 36 per cent of the 2,034 adult survey respondents said that they were worried about foreign exchange rates due to the ongoing slump in the value of the pound, while 24 per cent had concerns about the UK’s economy as a whole and another 24 per cent expressed uncertainty about what their insurance policies will and will not cover depending on what manner of deal – if any – the UK eventually manages to secure. Twenty per cent of Brits, meanwhile, have concerns about the validity of their own passports, while three per cent are worried about those of their pets.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the chaotic nature of the process, Brexit appears to be taking an emotional toll on the UK, with 45 per cent of those responding to the survey saying that they feel frustrated, 31 per cent expressing confusion and 30 per cent expressing anger. Men were found to be more likely than women to change their holiday plans, while regionally, those in London were the most likely to decide to alter an itinerary or booking.
“Travel operators need to ensure they have robust systems to respond to fluctuating consumer demand and can rapidly scale their operations as required, whatever happens over the coming weeks and months in Westminster and Brussels,” commented Jonas Reynisson, CEO of emerchantpay. “They need to ensure they can be agile to respond to rapidly changing consumer needs and demands in order to exploit these different dynamics in the market.”
UK Prime Minister Theresa May is currently seeking an extension from the EU in order to further clarify the terms of Britain’s exit. At the time of writing, the EU’s response is unknown; there is every possibility that the UK could crash out with no deal in 48 hours, or the process could potentially drag on for many more months. Unfortunately, so long as those in charge of the process are unable to come to a satisfactory accord, businesses and consumers will continue to pay the price.