Travel agents surveyed in Germany, Italy and Spain said the looming Brexit has not impacted their clients’ travel plans thus far, while sources in the UK said the impact they have seen has mainly been related to concerns about passports, visas and exchange rates.
Interviews with travel agents in Europe revealed that revenue volumes increased in 4Q 2018 vs. 4Q 2017 in Germany, while they increased slightly in Italy, were mixed in Spain and decreased slightly in the UK. In addition, revenue volumes are mixed in 1Q 2019 vs. the same period last year among sources in Germany, while they are up in Italy, up slightly in Spain and down in the UK. Looking ahead, expectations for revenue volumes are up slightly for 2019 vs. 2018 in Germany and Spain, up in Italy, and mixed in the UK.
Meanwhile, sources in Germany, Italy and Spain generally noted no changes in customers’ travel plans due to the uncertainty caused by Brexit. A source in Italy said, “Brexit does not have any impact on travel demand to the UK. It is business as usual. Brexit is a political matter with a meaningless impact on our customers.” However, sources in the UK noted changes, associated mainly with concerns about passports, visas and exchange rates.
Changes in Customers' Travel Plans due to Brexit
(% of Sources Citing)
Source: Grassroots® Research
As to the most popular destinations in Europe among clients, sources in Germany cited Spain and Greece; those in Italy cited Paris, Berlin and Prague; those in Spain cited London, France and Italy; and those in the UK cited Spain and Croatia. Regarding the least popular destinations in Europe among clients, sources in Germany cited Turkey and Bulgaria; those in Italy cited Paris, Bulgaria and Albania; those in Spain cited the Nordic countries; and those in the UK cited Greece. Meanwhile, discounts and promotional activities for sources generally have remained the same vs. the same period last year in all countries surveyed. A source in the UK noted, “We work with our customers to get them the best deal possible. We do have January promotions every year, and this year has been no different.”
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