In the medium term, Brexit might not be great news for tourism in the United Kingdom.
More than 60 percent of inbound visitors to the U.K. come from the European Union, and various EU initiatives—such as caps on cellphone roaming charges or the European Health Insurance Card—have made it easy for the French, Germans, and Italians to visit the U.K. (And for the Brits to flock to the Costa del Sol, of course.)
What’s more, the hospitality industry in the U.K. is dependent on foreign labor. In London, nearly half of employees in the hospitality and food services sector are foreign-born. If the U.K. moves to roll back the EU agreement on the movement of foreign workers, Deloitte reported in March, U.K. hotels and restaurants could face higher employment costs—and might lose the investment they’ve made in training skilled foreign workers if they no longer have permission to work. That’s to say nothing of the expected decline in general investment from the EU, which accounts for 48 percent of the country’s foreign direct investment.
Right now, however, the pound is low and it’s time to go!
That, at least, is the message from British Airways, which is making lemons out of currency rate lemonade with this new campaign:
It’s true: Sterling hasn’t been lower against the dollar since 1985. Starting in September, round-trip tickets to London are going for $649 from New York, and $692 from Dallas. (Outside the sale window, those tickets are almost twice as much.)
It’s a good time to take advantage of the Brexchange rate, and after the requisite four-day grace period, officially OK to ask: What can Brexit do for me?