Britain has voted by a decisive margin to leave the European Union. The final numbers have just been confirmed with a result of 51.9% to 48.1%.
We would love to hear from you, the bus and coach operators. Please get in touch to give your views on the decision, and the impact this will have on your company, and your future planning of trips and itineraries, and we will add your views to our website. Get in touch with our editor:-
Editor: Karen Wright
Tel: 01733 362300
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LONDON OPEN FOR BUSINESS: LONDON & PARTNERS’ RESPONSE TO THE EU REFERENDUM VOTE
By Gordon Innes, Chief Executive Officer, London & Partners.
Last week London played host to Europe’s largest festival of technology. More than 40,000 people came to the capital for London Technology Week to explore our booming tech sector, including 21 overseas delegations looking to London as a place to invest. Then, at the end of the week, the UK voted to leave the EU.
Following such a momentous week I feel it’s time to review the facts, to reflect on some of the challenges that lie ahead and assess how, together, we can forge new opportunities for the future. First, a few truths. London is, and will always be, a truly global trading city, a city which has constantly looked outward to trade and engage with the entire world.
The result is that more international companies have come to London than to any other city and more than half of international investors have cited London as the leading European city for Foreign Direct Investment. London is home to more than 250 international banks. In fact, there are more American banks based in London than there are in New York and there are more banking head offices in London than anywhere else in the World.
Forty per cent of the world’s top companies have HQ operations in London and we are Europe’s leading city for patent registrations in healthcare, wireless technology, video games, multimedia and software. London is also the most welcoming city I know. Record numbers of visitors come here to sample our rich heritage and culture, making London one of the most visited cities on earth. Without them, London would be billions of pounds a year worse off – money that can’t then be reinvested for the benefit of all in London.
But the true dynamism of London comes from the millions of international workers who have come here from overseas to live and work, and call London home. There are almost one million Europeans living and working here, bringing enormous economic benefit to the city and enriching the cultural life of London. And regardless of the outcome of the referendum vote, they will continue do so. Over recent days I’ve heard first hand from some of London’s foreign-born entrepreneurs and residents about how they feel ‘battered and bruised’ by the result of our referendum. They’ve begun to question whether or not London is really where they want to be.
I am immensely proud to work for this great city and I stand fully alongside the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, when he says that we are committed to working ever more closely to build stronger alliances between cities across Europe and around the world.
It is entirely possible that, emboldened by a mandate from the British people, a new UK Prime Minister can negotiate favourable terms for a future trading relationship with the EU and easy movement of tourists and skilled labour. It is entirely possible, too, that new trading relationships can be forged with economies that will be the powerhouses of world trade 20, 30, 40 years from now – which will open up new opportunities.
London’s economic success is built on hundreds of years of international businesses, investors and skilled workers coming here to be part of the most open and dynamic city economy in the world. None of that changed last Friday, none of that will change over the next two years and all of the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU are open for negotiation. In short, now is the time to focus on securing the best possible opportunities for London and the millions of people who would seek to make it their home. #Londonisopen
Mike Bugsgang, Chief Executive of the Association of Group Travel Organisers (AGTO):-
“Initial reaction from our members is positive as they believe Brexit could be beneficial to the groups market for both domestic and inbound tourism. Consumers within the UK and from overseas will continue to take holidays to experience the huge variety of attractions this country has to offer and a lower pound will aid this situation. Group organisers are tenacious and will continue to move huge numbers of people despite the ups and downs of world tourism trends.”
BHA Chairman bullish on Brexit:–
Spirits were high this morning at the British Hospitality Association (BHA) Summit event in the City of London this morning, where senior industry figures gathered to debate issues, and high amongst the list of topics was the potential impact of the EU referendum result.
Opening the Summit, BHA Chairman Nick Varney, who is CEO of Merlin Entertainments, said to delegates: “Tourism and leisure can continue to grow under Brexit! Initially a weaker pound will encourage visitors and also exports will flourish. We should seize the moment and lock in that competitive advantage with a permanent cut to VAT for accommodation, and possibly in the future also for restaurants.”
In an industry that has created nearly 600,000 new jobs over the course of the last Parliament (that is 1 in 3 of all new jobs created) the industry calls upon government to urgently clarify the issue of movement of labour which is so important to the growth ad expansion of the sector and reassure our workforce that they are both welcome and valued members of our society.
YORKSHIRE URGED TO KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
Yorkshire was today urged to stay strong and keep united as the world takes stock of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Welcome to Yorkshire is appealing to tourism businesses to continue their great work in ensuring Yorkshire is the number one tourist destination.
The tourism and events organisation is predicting a potential boom in staycation holidaymakers and is sending a message to international visitors that they are welcome in Yorkshire. Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “The question that many of our members and businesses within Yorkshire are asking is: how will this affect tourism, how will this affect us?
“We would urge communities in Yorkshire to do what they do best and that is to pull together and support each other like never before. We need to stand united, to “keep calm and carry on” with our work of making Yorkshire a friendly, attractive and inspiring place to visit for domestic and international visitors alike.”
The Tour de Yorkshire will not be affected by the result as Welcome to Yorkshire does not receive European funding and will continue to work closely with French colleagues at ASO to deliver this world class event.Latest figures show a huge public appetite for the race which saw some 2 million spectators line the route, who generated nearly £60 million for the local economy (source: Leeds Beckett University). That is a 20% increase on last year which has smashed all targets.
Sir Gary continued: “This is a Yorkshire success story and this is what we are about. We need to keep Yorkshire a must-see visitor destination, keep attracting visitors – let’s not forget Scarborough was recently named the most popular destination for holidaymakers anywhere outside London from 2013 – 2015 (Source: Visit England)
“No one knows for certain what a post-EU UK would look like but it is likely to be a lot more expensive for domestic travellers to fly abroad. Perhaps this means there will be a boom in “staycations” with more and more people looking to stay within the UK and looking at Yorkshire as somewhere to spend their break.”
Latest figures are already strong as domestic overnight trips to Yorkshire grew by 20% in 2015, one of the largest increases among regions in England. The county also experienced an 11% increase in spending. (Source: Great Britain Tourism Survey. Published April 2016)
Sir Gary added:“A decline in the value of sterling will act as a further incentive for international visitors to holiday here as the Dollar and the Euro will go much further.“International visitors are important to us and we are working hard to ensure Yorkshire is marketed globally.”
Welcome to Yorkshire launched a £1million international marketing campaign earlier this year and secured more television coverage for the Tour de Yorkshire to showcase the county. This was broadcast globally to some 178 countries and watched by some 11.4 million global TV viewers across Eurosport and ITV4 – double the amount in 2015.
Earlier this year, a Tour de Yorkshire branded plane was unveiled and is spreading the message from the skies after Welcome to Yorkshire linked up with Flybe.
Sir Gary said: “We will continue to think big and to come up with ways we can promote Yorkshire to the world. “We remain naturally optimistic and we take the view that the best of our work is in front of us.
“The result does not mean we are any less welcoming to our friends in Europe or anywhere else in the world. We will work harder than ever to ensure their stay is warm, welcoming and memorable and we will continue as ever in our mission to make Yorkshire the number one tourist destination.”