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Will Brexit affect travellers transferring money to European Union? | Travel News | Travel

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Brexit discussions remain shrouded in uncertainty yet negotiations are already sparking tangible impacts on the pound, passports and holidaymakers plumping for their vacation destination. While UK Prime Minister Theresa May continues to attempt to thrash out a Brexit deal with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, the pound is finishing the week on a “strong” note. Yet those Britons booking trips overseas have been revealed to have shunned Europe for other destinations, amid the uncertainty. There has been a two per cent drop on holidaymakers selecting destinations in Europe for their well-earned getaways.

While the potential for a Brexit no deal scenario has already seen the pound to euro exchange rate plummet, finance experts have suggested this might not be the case in one instance.

Regardless of whether a deal is secured or not, Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of currency expert, FairFX has told how it will likely not impact monetary transfers between the UK and EU.

When quizzed about how Brexit will impact individuals transferring money to Europe, he said the results may, thankfully, be negligible.

He told Express.co.uk: “As it stands, Brexit shouldn’t directly impact you if you’re sending funds to Europe.”

Those transferring money to EU member states could be doing so for business reasons, or because they have now relocated to Europe as an expat.

Some well-known high street banks have pledged to keep their customers’ accounts open for expats, particularly in light of Brexit.

A spokesperson for Barclays international confirmed: “If the customer subsequently moves overseas the account will remain open with no minimum balance requirements.”

Meanwhile, there have been concerns UK banks could lose access to EU payments systems.

Customers of UK banks living in the EU “may lose the ability to access lending and deposit services,” it has been claimed.

Meanwhile, Ian has issued further words of advice about the uncertain Brexit scenario and impact on travellers’ finances.

He said: “The pound is yet to return to pre-Brexit rates against the Euro, and today it’s down 13 percent against Euro compared to the day of the referendum.

“That means holidaymakers heading to Eurozone destinations are now getting £147 worth of Euros less for every £1,000 they exchange.”

“Whenever there is a parliamentary vote or update on the UK’s negotiations with the EU, we see a spike in support requests as customers try to understand what the latest developments mean for the value of the pound.”

“There’s been a significant increase in the number of queries from new and existing customers about the impact of Brexit and what it means for their business and personal international payments as well as their travel money.”

“Brexit is an unprecedented event so it’s no wonder there is heightened anxiety around the consequences it may or not have. That’s why we decided to set up a dedicated support desk to answer any Brexit-related questions and the impact on currency as far as we possibly can.”

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Travel & Escape

Opinion: Are we ready for the tourism rebound?

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Canadians are ready for the borders to be re-opened and will be flocking to sun destinations this winter like never before. The number of people who have said that they are ready to “get out of Dodge” and “fly the coop” is an indication that there is a pent-up demand for travel and excursions that has been bolstered by a two-year sabbatical from vacations of any semblance. 

While Canadians are going to be heading south, we can expect some of our citizens as well as those from other nations to be looking to Canada for their adventure holidays. When the requirements for the two-week quarantines are lifted, we will be seeing a quick rebound of tourism as other countries who have already lifted their restrictions have seen. 

But are we ready?

In 2019, tourism contributed $105 billion to the Canadian economy. Tourists from outside of Canada spent over $16 billion dollars.  Those numbers were down considerably in 2020 and it is only natural that many people in the industry suffered as a result of the effects of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

While some folks, fearful of the spread of variants, believe that the borders should never be re-opened, the reality is that to save our tourism industry and the economy, we need tourist traffic from outside of Canada as well as interprovincial travel. As Canadian and foreign tourists start their migration towards our tourist and nature attractions, there is some hesitancy about the readiness of the industry to manage the coming tsunami of people.

Hit harder than many sectors, the tourism industry has been affected by the pandemic in ways that other industries haven’t. The closure of attractions, fairs, tour bus companies, sporting events, concerts and community events with any semblance of a large group has forced workers in this industry to look for jobs elsewhere to survive. As a result of this migration of talent there will be many tourism related businesses that will have difficulty scaling up to meet demand.  According to Statistics Canada, 32 per cent of accommodation and food service companies expect that attracting workers is going to be an obstacle for them this year.

Even if you have some warm bodies to fill your positions, having well-trained staff will remain a problem for many tourism and food service companies. Most business leaders in the industry understand the result of having improperly trained staff working in positions serving the public. The consequences of poor customer service can be long lasting and devastating. Unfortunately, as a result of the constant opening up and shutting down scenarios that have been seen in the economy over the past 18 months, most operators have been reluctant to increase the staffing levels that will be necessary to meet demand. The consequences will be that there will be no other option but to have staff that are not fully trained or optimally equipped to take care of the flood of vacationers.

In order to adjust to the coming demand, tourism-related businesses will need to be prepared to hire and train new employees to promote and deliver their services. This should include systematization of training, hiring and onboarding processes to enable companies to get up to speed quickly when the demand starts.  

While tourism deserves to have their days in the sun and profit from increased business, we need to recognize as Canadians that it takes a country to host visitors and we need to encourage and support those people in the industry who have been hit so hard.

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Travel & Escape

COVID-19: Tourism bookings start increasing as B.C. opens up

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Tourism in B.C. is restarting but don’t expect it to be the same as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

While B.C. Ferries is welcoming recreational travellers and relaxing its mask requirement at terminals, face coverings will still be mandatory on board whenever you’re not in your vehicle.

Several Indigenous tourism businesses and locations that were closed to visitors are planning to reopen July 1.

Other tourism businesses are welcoming back visitors but won’t be in a position to handle big volumes because of a lack of staff, said Anthony Everett, president and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island.

“Everyone needs to travel with a great deal of patience,” Everett said from Nanaimo. “Most businesses are running at a fraction of capacity of what they did prior to COVID.”

Many tourism sector workers have left the industry and found work elsewhere, Everett said. Particularly hard hit are restaurants that can’t find kitchen workers and companies doing tourism-related activities such as kayaking.

He said the benefits of tourism won’t be evenly distributed.

Last year, Victoria struggled all summer long and while bookings for accommodation have increased, some of the city’s restaurants are only open for lunch, others only for dinner.

“This is all going to take time to build up,” Everett said.

“Frankly, I think it will take years. This summer, bookings are going up, that’s what we’re been waiting for. It’s not going to be the exact same experience you were used to prior to the pandemic. I hope people remember and recognize that.”

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Mountain biking the Sea to Sky Trail

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With the 700-metre granite dome of the Stawamus Chief as a backdrop, my friend, Ken, and I climbed on our bikes in Squamish and began pedalling north. Our destination was Whistler, an uphill trek of some 80km that we hoped to cover in two days.

It would be easier to ride the opposite way—from Whistler to Squamish—because it’s downhill. But it wouldn’t be the Sea to Sky Trail if we rode that way. Besides, how hard could an elevation gain of more than 600 meters be?

I have driven the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler many times. It’s arguably one of the best drives in Canada, but when I learned about the Sea to Sky Trail, I knew I needed to experience it on a bike. It’s a slower pace, and largely away from the highway, so it would allow us to appreciate the journey—the valleys, river gorges, lakes, and forests—in a way you can’t in a car.

While the Indigenous peoples of the Coast Salish and Interior Salish have used this corridor as a historic travel and trade route, the idea of a multi-purpose Sea to Sky Trail was first imagined in the early 1990s. But given the geographical and funding challenges, it’s only been in the last decade or so that the vision of the 180km trail from Squamish to D’Arcy, north of Pemberton, has been realized.

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