What Brexit would mean for travellers

Long waits at border control is a worry for international travellers.
NEIL HALL

Long waits at border control is a worry for international travellers.

The UK is a popular destination for Kiwi tourists and people heading off on their OE. So how would an exit from the European Union affect international travellers?

If Brexit passes, flying through London's Heathrow Airport may cause a few headaches with longer queues. EU citizens would no longer be able to pass through separate lines and would have to queue with all other non nationals.

One expert told Bloomberg that Heathrow will become like New York's JFK where four-hour queues for customs have been reported.

Travelling to Britain may become cheaper if the pound takes a hit.
PAUL HACKETT/REUTERS

Travelling to Britain may become cheaper if the pound takes a hit.

Read more:
British and European travellers fear Brexit could hurt holidays
Live: Polls have closed on Britain's EU membership vote

 

"The problems we've had with this in the U.S. are going to replicate in the U.K.—and it's going to be a mess," Charlie Leocha, president of consumer advocacy group Travelers United, said.

A quarter of Europeans say they will be less inclined to travel to the UK if Britain votes to leave Europe.
NEIL HALL/REUTERS

A quarter of Europeans say they will be less inclined to travel to the UK if Britain votes to leave Europe.

On the other hand, if Britain leaves the EU, the pound could take a hit, which is good for international travellers. According to the Treasury's research, a Brexit vote could cause the pound to fall by 12 per cent.

Other small worries among travellers are the potential for roaming costs to soar and dirty beaches. The EU has strict regulations on data roaming and people touring Europe only need one sim card to guarantee connectivity. However, if Brexit passes, Britain could change to an independent network.

The EU also has requirements for coastal clean-up efforts and people, including locals and travellers, fear this might not be a priority if the UK leaves Europe.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR BRITISH TRAVELLERS

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Research commissioned by travel deal website Travelzoo, in conjunction with Bournemouth University, suggests leaving the EU could cost up to STG4.1 billion a year in international tourist spending.

The research, conducted in the UK, France, German, Spain and Italy, found that a third of Italian, Spanish and German travellers - and a quarter of French - say they will be less inclined to travel to the UK if Britain votes to leave Europe.

In addition to the loss of income, there's also the potential loss of benefits EU membership has afforded over the years - including the EHIC card for health cover, improvements to ATOL package protection and delay and cancellation compensation.

 - Stuff

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