Brits “delay holiday plans due to Brexit”

It’s the latest Brexit ‘scare-story’: Brits putting holiday plans on hold due to the “uncertainty and consequences of Brexit”.

Who says this is Ana Mendes Godinho, secretary of state for tourism.

Speaking at an event in London earlier this week, Godinho said that no one knows “the impact (Brexit may have) on the devaluation of the pound”, but Britons will, almost certainly, be hedging bets over their plans for the summer.

Reservations – which usually come during December – are expected to come later, while Portugal’s “preoccupation is in maintaining the loyalty of the British market” which has already shown a ‘drop-off’ in terms of visitors (6% less last August) – though income derived increased by 10%.

Only a week ago, UK tabloids were painting Portugal as “furious” that Brexit negotiations were taking so long to reach any kind of clarity (click here).

According to a recent study by the confederation of businesses, tourism is just “one of the areas with the greatest risk of negative impact due to the UK’s exit from the European Union”- with devaluation of the pound against the euro being key.

The pound has already devalued by 14% since the date of the referendum in 2016 and September this year, thus a further plunge in Brits’ purchasing power could put a major dent in Portugal’s recovering economy.

As it is, Brits represent 21% of the total number of visitors to this country and 28% of bookings registered in hotels. Exports to UK are another area where any kind of negative effect from Brexit could be very painful for Portugal indeed.

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