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Abta issues warning to travellers in the event of the UK voting to leave the European Union

News headlines at the moment are dominated by the benefits or consequences, should the result of the referendum to be held on June 23rd result in the UK leaving the European Union. The latest big name to join in the debate is Abta the leading association of travel agents and tour operators.

They commissioned a report which was designed to examine what leaving the EU would mean for both the travel industry as well as both business and holiday travellers. The report was overseen and produced with the assistance of accountancy and management consultancy firm Deloitte.

The findings suggest that a vote to leave would not be in the best interests of both holidaymakers as well as business users. Abta was quick to explain that the many regulations that have been issued by the EU and implemented by the industry have had enormous benefit and a vote to leave could have a negative impact in the future.

They point out that some of the benefits for travellers include financial protection for package holidays, compensation for flight delays, access to free health cover through the European Health Insurance Card, caps on mobile phone charges and ‘open skies’ for airlines. One major area of concern is the possible impact that Brexit as it being called, would have on the value of the pound against other currencies.

In a comment chief executive of Abta, Mark Tanzer said: “Our assessment of the findings is that a vote to leave will lead to uncertainties and may lead to increased costs for travel businesses and the travelling public.” He also said that the organisation was not convinced that any potential risks associated with leaving the EU are not matched by equal upsides for the traveller.

Another powerful voice also warned of the possible consequences of leaving the EU, in the form of the chief executive of Monarch Group, the scheduled airline and the UK’s leading independent travel group. He suggested that they would view the outcomes for the travel sector as very negative. He went on to say that he believed that it would most likely lead to higher air fares and fewer scheduled flights between the EU and UK.

Norther Irish Travel operator Knock Travel, who are based in Belfast, also consider that an exit from the EU “would be disastrous” according to the owner Doreen McKenzie. She was clearly in favour of remaining in the EU, saying that it is thanks to them that a whole new world of travel has opened up and the many regulations now in place have been for the precise benefit, as well as protection of holidaymakers.

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