LONDON — The Brexit referendum outcome has created plenty of uncertainty and the long-term implications on the incentive travel business are unknown. Members of the Society for Incentive Excellence (SITE) from around the globe share their perspectives on how the decision may affect the industry in the short term.
“It is critical that our industry maintain a ‘keep calm and carry on’ approach in order to minimize any potential impact on incentive travel programs and other business events,” cautioned Paul Miller, SITE past president and managing director, Spectra DMC, headquartered in London.
“The democratic process has taken place and should be respected regardless of the outcome and (on) which side of the debate you sat. Britain will work through this and will find a way to work with the EU and vice versa. It’s really business as usual and, in fact, we are already seeing an increase in RFPs from both the US and Europe,” he added.
Travel experts predict that, in the short term, travel between Europe and the U.K. is not expected to change, at least until the breakup is formally negotiated over the next two years. During the past year, Britain has enjoyed a surge in international visitors, especially from the U.S. and Canada.
Industry experts are already projecting uplifts for the U.K.’s inbound business due to a weakening pound, and preliminary findings by IATA suggest that international arrivals will increase as “a weaker pound has raised the attractiveness and affordability of the U.K. relative to other destinations.”
“Incentive travel and motivational events exist to reward and motivate individuals and teams to create business growth and ROI for global brands and organizations of all types. Our industry sector relies on our global workforce and the SITE Great Britain chapter based in London, a city where we speak over 230 languages, reflects this diversity. Being responsible for the European Business Tourism market and having lived and worked in 2 other European Countries, I want to emphasize that this referendum is based on political choice and trade with Europe and the rest of the world remains as important as ever,” said Barbara Jamison, head of business development, London & Partners and immediate past-president SITE Great Britain.