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Thursday December 14, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

The jobs in skiing and the wider travel industry could go and holiday costs rise as a result of Brexit, according to a new report.

The Seasonal Businesses in Tourism association (SBIT) has just published its assessment on the impact on the UK's outbound tourism industry.

It is endorsed by more than 50 independent UK travel businesses.

The assessment concludes that, as well as 25,000 potential seasonal job losses, £1 billion in tax revenue could be lost and the cost of ski holidays could rise.

The figures are based on the estimated 25,000 UK citizens who work in the European Single Market each year supporting the seasonal tourism industry, including meeting holidaymakers at the airport and looking after them in chalets.

If it becomes costly or impossible for these people to work in the EU on a seasonal basis, costs may rise and jobs will be cut, it says.


The travel and aviation industry plans around 12 to 14 months ahead and some tour operators say that uncertainty about the status of flying programmes and its UK seasonal staff have begun to have an effect on their business.

Two of the largest ski companies have already cut 8,000 holidays (around 10 per cent) from their chalet programmes for this winter, with a corresponding reduction in seasonal tourism jobs.

They warn that more cuts may be coming for the 2018-19 season.

"Skiers start booking their flight inclusive packages 11 months in advance with businesses like ours and holidays for 2018-19 Brexit year should be on sale in a matter of weeks," Sarah Searson, Managing Director of Skiworld, the largest independent ski specialist in the UK, said.









‘‘If we don't soon have clarity on our ability to move staff around Europe during and after March 2019 there will be significant and possibly irreversible long-term impacts on the industry.''

Currently UK companies in the tourism industry can employ British workers to work in European holiday resorts under the European Single Market freedom of labour movement rules.

SBIT says that if these rules or something similar are not in effect after the Brexit deadline of March 2019 then there will be a devastating impact on companies in the British outbound seasonal tourism sector.

Paul Carter, CEO of Hotelplan, which operates Inghams, Ski Total and Esprit Ski, said the company trained its resort teams of often young people from different social backgrounds in high standards of customer service.

Esprit SkiEsprit Ski














"They are responsible for looking after our guests and their travel arrangements, ensuring they have the best possible experience with us which is good for business.

"They are a key part of our customers' holiday experience, not just in managerial guest-facing roles, but also as kitchen porters, hotel assistants and nannies.

"In having the opportunity to work overseas, it's not just the way of life they fall in love with....they acquire logistics and language skills and see different cultures and learn the ropes of how a hospitality business operates.

"In my experience, our teams work extremely hard and have the opportunity to progress quickly within the company.

"We must not lose these jobs and the training and experience these people in the hospitality sector bring back in to the UK economy, we therefore need the government to urgently address the issue of visa-free movement for our staff in Europe."

Seasonal workersSki chalet hosts















Members of SBIT have written to MPs calling on the British Government to agree transitional and permanent arrangements with the EU that preserve their ability to operate.

SBIT is calling on the Government to:

- Agree a transitional agreement with the EU that will continue Single Market freedom of labour movement after March 2019.

- Establish a longer-term practicable, "fast-tracked" work permit / visa process which will permit UK citizens to be able to work in Europe on a temporary basis to meet the seasonal demands of the tourism industry post Brexit.

- Retain the ability of workers posted abroad temporarily to remain in the social security system of their home nation.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

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