Nearly 80% of Brits are concerned about holidaying in a post-Brexit Europe, according to a poll by flight and travel deals website Cheapflights.
Trravellers raised fears over “rocketing prices”, “increased bureaucracy” and “a less than friendly reception” in the week that Article 50 was triggered, which was the starting gun for Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Results showed that people were looking further afield, with many travellers planning future holidays in the US, Caribbean, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand or instead staying on home soil.
Nearly half (49%) of the poll’s 2,000 respondents said the value of the Pound was their main concern, making it the biggest European travelling worry.
That was followed by concerns around losing guaranteed local health care via the European Health Insurance Card (36 per cent); rumours of visas to visit EU destinations (35 per cent); and potentially higher airfares (33 per cent).
Nearly a third (31 per cent) highlighted a concern that EU residents might be less welcoming to British tourists, and others (20 per cent) noted fears around the return of the punitive mobile-phone charges, which have been phased out in recent years.
Analysis of 25 million searches across an 18-month period made by Brits through the Cheapflights website and app, comparing average monthly demand in the nine-months prior to, and since, last June’s Brexit vote echoes that shift in sentiment.
Data suggests Brits are making significantly fewer searches for flights to the EU in favour of longer-haul destinations. Searches for flights to Spain are 14 per cent lower since the period prior to the EU referendum, and demand for France, Italy and Portugal is also down. Meanwhile, searches for flights to the Caribbean, Thailand, Dubai, the US and Australia and New Zealand are all, on average, 20 per cent higher for the same period.
Andrew Shelton, managing director of Cheapflights, said: “Brits are clearly concerned about how Brexit will affect travel, specifically regarding holidays to Europe.
“The referendum result could usher in a fundamental shift in the travel habits of Brits, seeing them take fewer, but longer, holidays each year to more exotic destinations – rather than the ‘fly and flop’ trips to the Med, or the short city breaks, to which we’ve got accustomed as the skies over Europe opened up in the last two decades.”
The survey also revealed that 32 per cent of those, who are likely to holiday less in Europe following Brexit, will opt for a ‘staycation’ instead.
“Whilst the long-term impact of Brexit on flight prices remains uncertain, fears of immediate price hikes seem to be unfounded,” added Shelton. “Analysis of average lowest return fares to our most popular destinations shows that, across the board, flight prices have fallen in the nine months since Britain voted to leave the EU. Flights to Spain, France and Portugal have dropped by 18 per cent, 15 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, giving Brits the perfect excuse to seek out some bargains to their old favourites on the continent now, before the UK’s 2019 departure.”