The Association has been cautiously monitoring the lead-up to the Brexit vote but the initial shockwave after a decisive win by the ‘leave’ campaign is extremely disturbing as it has resulted in plunging currency value and stock market prices. Weak currency and reduced spending power coupled with the uncertainty further fuelled by the Prime Minister’s resignation, are concerning.
Immediately, members of the BHTA have been asked to feedback any negative impacts of this volatile situation and the uncertainty that it brings, but cautioned not to make decisions only based on these early signs. The United Kingdom is the source of the highest level of tourism expenditure and arrival numbers and, therefore, the impact could potentially be damaging in the short and medium term. We will monitor closely the possible slowing of the pace of bookings and, at worst, cancelled trips, to feedback to our partners, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
We caution members that it is still very early and that where strategies to address reduced spend are necessary to have in their arsenal, we must cautiously observe and plan to avoid any knee jerk reactions. Any partners, investors or potential investors should be similarly cautioned. The process for the transition to commence involves an application for exit from the EU and, therefore, we must not hasten the possible fallout by making rash decisions.
The board and members of the BHTA are already in dialogue about possible impacts and required action as we watch the unfolding saga. It is indeed the greatest shock to the United Kingdom market in recent history and we have to be well prepared for what it may bring.