In the first two quarters of the year, we had a good wave of bookings for London—both groups and individuals. With many of our suppliers invoicing us in GBP, we naturally also maintain a GBP currency account. But with the sudden drop of the GBP due to the recent Brexit vote, we did get hit with exchange rate losses. To offset this, and since no one knows what’s going to happen next, our immediate solution will be to sell, sell, sell London.
Thinking about it, London would be a bargain. For many visitors in the past, London’s high prices were always a major issue. Realistically, a good four-star hotel in other parts of Europe would be the equivalent of a 2 or 3 star hotel in London. This may not be the case in the coming days.
But even with London’s high prices, it is still a highly sought after destination, and room availability is always a challenge even outside the peak periods. With the lower GBP, demand could soar even higher. So to meet this demand, we might have to count, once again, on a few of our partner hotels to give us more room allotments. That’s if they still have availability by then. And if it’s no longer possible, we might have to explore other sources to meet demand.
On the reverse side; for destinations that rely on the UK market for their inbound business, they might see a drop in their visitor arrivals. The UK has always traditionally been a major visitor source for many destinations. This said, inbound to Prague for British groups might suffer a hit. And although there are many different market segments, one of the most popular of these is stag (bachelor) groups. So where it used to be cheaper for them to fly out to another European city like Prague, Budapest, or Cracow on a 2-night package with all the beer they can drink rather than spend a night out in London, this may no longer be the case for them. This means a weekend out for these kinds of groups to Prague or other Eastern European cities might no longer be the bargain that it once was. But who’s to say what their thinking might be? For now, we can only wait and see.
Vincent Soriano is the Founder & Managing Director of Art Of Travel. Based in Prague, Czech Republic, Art Of Travel specialises in Marketing & Sales Representation as well as delivering travel experiences throughout Central & Eastern Europe. And with its strong affinity to Asia, partners and customers also rely on their expert knowledge of Philippines, Thailand, and the rest of Southeast & North Asia. To know more, visit www.ArtOfTravel.eu. Vincent can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org