If Brexit results in fewer Brits deciding to travel abroad, then several popular holiday destinations in Europe could feel the pain. One destination – Portugal – is seeking to turn the threat into an opportunity.
Many countries across Europe are concerned about the impact of Brexit (if/whenever “it” happens) on their economies.
One of the biggest potential impacts is on those countries where the tourism industry is driven by a large proportion of travellers and tourists from the UK, and where tourism is a major contributor to their GDP.
According to the Office of National Statistics, there were 72.8 million outbound trips from the UK in 2017. 75% of the 53 million leisure and business trips are to a European country. If Brexit results in fewer Brits deciding to travel abroad, then Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Turkey are the popular holiday destinations that could feel the pain.
Planning for a positive Brexit
However, one destination – Portugal – is seeking to turn the threat into an opportunity. VisitPortugal has come up with a creative and positive approach – #Brelcome to Portugal – to encourage UK travellers to opt for Portugal rather than an alternative destination.
Behind the marketing tagline, the government has initiated several measures to offset the potential impact of Brexit… and to give the country a competitive advantage over other destinations that Brits may consider. The contingency plan developed by the Portuguese Government includes the following measures:
- Visa exemption (on trips up to 90 days)
- Dedicated passport control areas/lanes for UK flights
- Possibility of mutual recognition of driving licenses
- Use of the Portuguese National Health Service
- Validity of UK travel insurance policies
- Providing simplified requirements for UK nationals´ pets
- Similar passenger security taxes for UK nationals
So, “hats off” to Portugal for its prompt and positive response to a potential threat to its tourism businesses and its economy. It demonstrates that even when things don’t look great in one of your key markets, you can turn threat into opportunity. Maybe in 2019, we’ll see an increase in UK travellers to Portugal, a country that’s prepared to give Brits a warm #Brelcome.