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WTM 2019: Brexit impact comes under spotlight

WTM 2019: Brexit impact comes under spotlight

Brexit, politics and the travel trade has been a major topic of discussion at World Travel Market – London.

David Goodger, managing director of Tourism Economics, moderated a session called ‘Brexit, Trade Wars and Populism’ and said there is a one in three chance of a worldwide recession into 2020.

“We don’t see a recession absolutely on the cards,” he said.

“The Eurozone remains soft and Germany is underperforming.

“There is a downturn in the European economy.

“Germany is seeing negative trends in terms of production. We are keeping a very close eye.

“It’s looking like a real issue for the region.”


Goodger said UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s newly agreed Brexit deal is looking worse than the deal agreed by his predecessor, Theresa May, in terms of its effect on the UK economy and worse than no Brexit at all.

“May’s deal would have taken two per cent off GDP, while the current deal would take off 3.1 per cent.

“If we are not as well off as we could be, of course this will have a clear impact on travel.

“It’s most likely that we’ll see a deal, but the timing is uncertain.

“A no deal is less likely and there is still a possibility of no Brexit at all.”

He warned a no-deal Brexit would lead to a much worse recession and said: “Aviation disruption is likely to be minimal with agreements in place, but there are risks of major disruption in 2021.”

Fellow presenter Natalie Weisz, senior manager, research and analysis at hotel data company STR, said one in three worldwide travellers are delaying travel plans because of uncertainty over Brexit.

Weisz added: “Supply growth is putting pressure on rates.

“Despite this European occupancies are ten per cent ahead of the previous peak in 2007.”