Could Post-Brexit Britain See An Increase In Holiday Claims?
The Law Of... continuing to claim holiday compensationHow well Britain will fare post-Brexit has yet to be seen, and while it's possible that the country will flourish if Article 50 is triggered, at present the pound is struggling. This may have a knock-on effect on the amount of holiday compensation claims that are made in the next few years, as the UK travel industry looks likely to change.
A Depreciated Pound Could Have a Big Impact
One of the more noticeable effects of the Brexit has been a weakening of the British pound. Although markets at home and around the world saw a shift, the pound fell against vital currencies around the world, including the Dollar and the Euro.
Due to the way that holiday companies work, they will have felt the pinch of the pound dropping, most notably when it comes to the steadily increasing cost of fuel. As with the fuel that you fill your car with, aeroplane fuel is sold in US dollars, meaning that as the pound weakens against the dollar, it'll cost more to buy, resulting in more expensive flights.
This can push up inflation, something we have seen in the UK where inflation is on the rise. Essentially, the price of everything slowly creeps up without income rising to match it, and while you might argue that this doesn't apply if you're travelling to a different country, remember that you're spending money that you earned on a UK income based in pounds which aren't worth as much as they used to be.
This means that it's not just the cost of flights that could increase, but the cost of hotels and food abroad too.
Consumer Buying Power May Keep Holiday Prices Down
Of course, nobody wants to have to pay any more for their break abroad, and UK tour operators are very aware of this.
While we may see an increase in the cost of travelling abroad, they'll want to keep their prices as consumer friendly as possible. To do this, they will have to figure out a way to save money, and unfortunately, the consumer may still suffer because of this.
Money-Saving Measures May Be Detrimental to Holidaymakers
The quality of food is one such area that cost-saving cuts might occur. In theory, this could be caused by UK tour operators who put the squeeze on foreign hotels to lower their rates, forcing them to use less reputable suppliers. This could result in hoteliers buying produce from supply chains where produce has been grown in less than desirable conditions, potentially where contaminants such as faecal matter spread pathogens like Cyclospora to crops
It's also possible that the staff at resorts will receive less training as costs are cut, and this can result in catering teams lacking the adequate knowledge to safely and efficiently prepare food, and we may being to see an increase in holiday illness claims
Hotel owners might also be unable to commit resources to the maintenance and upkeep of their establishments, resulting in dangerous areas, such as swimming pools with broken tiles, hazardous bathrooms and more. This could result in an increase in holiday personal injury claims
Package Holidays are increasing in Popularity
In the short four months since the Brexit vote, the way that the British public travel has shifted. While "DIY breaks"
, wherein people book their own flights, accommodation and meals have seen a decrease in popularity, the package holiday has rallied as further Brit's chosen a holiday package where the risk that their spending money won't be worth as much is decreased.
Put simply, more holidaymakers are relying on the safety of a package holiday where they know their meals are paid for rather than arriving at a hotel only to find that their spending money is worth a fraction of its value when they booked.
Package Holidays Provide Added Protection
A package holiday booked through a UK tour operator for a single price in pounds sterling has the added benefit of providing you with the peace of mind that you'll be covered under The Package Travel Regulations 1992
. This regulation ensures that in the event that you become sick or suffer an injury caused by an accident that wasn't your fault and your tour operator could have taken reasonable steps to prevent; you can claim compensation.
It's arguable that as more people take advantage of package holiday deals before the prices rise
, tour operators will do all that they can to increase their profit margins. If this leads to a decrease in the quality of package holidays; holiday compensation claims could increase.
Find Out More
If you want to find out more about your rights under The Package Travel Regulations or whether you can claim compensation following an accident or illness on a package holiday, then please don't hesitate to contact a member of our travel law team who will be happy to advise you of your rights.