In the run-up to the EU Referendum, many within the hospitality industry were careful not to comment on the likely impact a Brexit decision might have, and specifically within our burgeoning serviced apartment sector.
Most recognised the possible danger brought by restrictions on free movement throughout the continent, and the difficulty already within for those outside the EU applying for visas for travel. But somehow it was safer to believe the polls running until late last night, that the likely outcome would be a close victory for Remain.
In the immediate aftermath, we have to admit at ASAP our own surprise at the final result. In all honesty, it’s not possible to gauge the implications yet. We’ve already seen sterling take a tumble, indeed one of our own team bought holiday Euros at midnight that would have cost £80 more for the same amount from the same supplier this morning. Which makes travelling in Europe more expensive for outbound tourists. But in contrast, it makes inbound tourism from many countries much cheaper, and may start to encourage some domestic visitors to stay within the UK rather than holidaying in Europe.
It will doubtless affect construction and investment in our industry, although conversely it may make the UK a more attractive and cost-effective proposition for foreign investors. And the effect on domestic as well as commercial property prices will be huge, especially in London, which may see dramatic influxes from overseas further affecting the amount of housing stock for British buyers.
In the meantime, while we wait for official news on how we cope with the coming economic shocks, the hospitality industry is surely robust enough to withstand the immediate pressure.
Our membership of 150 represents a wide cross-section of businesses – from those operating in a single UK location to global operators many of whom have a significant number of properties in Europe and the rest of the world, and we’re delighted to have a number of European operators in membership also. And wherever they are based in the world, the great majority of our members do business with the EU on a daily basis.
To help us to start to form a picture of our members’ reactions, right across the UK and within Europe, please do email us a short comment (30-50 words if possible) as soon as you can, to firstname.lastname@example.org, or let us have your views via Twitter @ASAPThe