“It won’t be good for our industry,” said Andrew Botterill, CEO, B2B, dnata Travel Europe. “It’s the uncertainty that’s the killer.
“If you watch TV and read the papers, it’s easy to panic, but no one actually knows what will happen if we leave Europe.
“However, the idea of it has had an impact on sales.”
His comments were made on day one of the conference, which is taking place at Atlantis, The Palm, from 23 to 25 May, where Lisa McAuley, commercial director, Silversea Cruises, agreed there was “a lot of [market] uncertainty” resulting from the upcoming Brexit referendum.
“But the UK traveller is resilient and from a booking perspective, so too is the luxury market,” she added.
On Monday (23 May), TGTG 2016 conference delegates headed out to the desert for a safari and camp experience and it was here that agents and suppliers started debating Brexit after hours.
It led to some lively discussions, with most agreeing Brexit uncertainty was bad for current business.
One conference delegate from the airline industry told Travel Daily UK: “In the run-up to the referendum the fear of the unknown is impacting sales. If we leave Europe it will affect us, but like any situation you adapt.”
Brexit talk came as flights operator, LoloFlights, revealed this week it would cancel its 2016 launch in light of the referendum, which it claimed had led to “poor sales”.
Owner Paul Dendle said the company had already started refunding tickets sold through the trade.
LoloFlights had planned to operate services from Bournemouth and Manchester to Greece this summer using a former British Midland aircraft owned by broker AirX.