On June 24th, major banks took a pounding and stocks plummeted when the Brexit referendum passed. Brits voted 51.9% to leave the EU and 48.1% to stay. Naturally, our thoughts turned to how it would affect timeshare and travel.
The Good News
The good news is that in the short-term the drop in the pound precipitated by Brexit will benefit American tourists. Americans can expect huge price breaks in the UK - England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland this summer. That's according to a Detroit Free Press article that said, "normally Americans pay $1.50 per British pound, but after Brexit, the cost was $1.37 per pound, a 30-year low". British tourism data reports Americans make up 9% of all tourists visiting Britain and spend the most—= - 3 billion pounds in 2015. And it doesn’t stop there - the euro also fell after the vote. It now costs $1.10 to buy one euro. Most of Europe is now a good deal for Americans.
After the vote on June 24th, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) issued this statement, "Travel to, from and within the EU and UK will not be affected in the short-term. The Lisbon Treaty allows a two year period of negotiation once the UK formally states its intention to leave the EU and this period could be extended by an agreement of all parties. During this period the legislation around Travel & Tourism will remain the same."
David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC, said, "We are entering a period of market uncertainty which will undoubtedly put pressure on Travel & Tourism businesses, however we know that our sector is resilient and we expect business and leisure travel to hold up in the face of these challenges."
Affect on Timeshare
As of now, it doesn't look like Brexit will directly affect the timeshare industry in the U.S. The UK, however, is a different story. An April blog post from Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket®, a leading European timeshare resale company, outlined several ways the referendum could affect timeshare owners and travelers. It may have unexpected implications on timeshares UK citizens pay for in other EU countries. The currency fluctuations could also impact UK timeshare owners' annual management fees, the UK's free health care options for travelers and EU passenger rights and airfares.
EU Timeshare Directive
The WorldWide Timeshare Hypermarket® blog speculated that "the inconsistences between the UK and the EU on timeshare regulations may provide disincentives for UK consumers to purchase timeshare resorts outside of the UK". Before Brexit, "consumers were protected by the EU timeshare directive which benefits UK citizens considering purchasing timeshare in the EU as well as organizations owning, managing or selling timeshare. Now, owners may be exempt from the EU timeshare directive and at risk of losing protection, unless the Prime Minister secures assurances from the EU for UK timeshare owners." As you know, here in the US each state has a set of laws governing timeshare and they can vary from state to state. We wish the UK the best in this time of change.