SBIT stands for Seasonal Business in Travel. It is a membership organisation of 200 outbound British travel and service companies operating throughout the summer and winter holiday seasons. All members are SMEs and British businesses, not multinationals. Every company shares a common business model: they are highly seasonal so either specialise in winter or summer holidays and their business depend on being able to seamlessly move their temporary UK staff between countries in the EU in order to service their customers during periods of peak demand.
The Organisation’s Aim
The aim is to protect 25,000 British jobs in their sector and to keep on giving value and choice to the British holidaymakers.
By raising awareness of the threats presented by Brexit, especially a no-deal Brexit, their aim is to ensure that policy makers on both sides of the channel take into account the value UK businesses deliver to EU resorts and destinations and to ensure that they put in place appropriate measures to support their mutual economic benefits – should Brexit in any form go ahead.
Val d’Isère and other ski resorts in the Savoie region of France are launching a show of solidarity with UK Remain supporters.
They are staging a special event as the last Eurostar train, before the rescheduled Brexit departure date, leaves Bourg-Saint-Maurice for London early next month.
Some 48% of skiers who visit Val d’Isère each winter come from the UK and locals fear that, at least in the short term, the Brexit chaos may have a significant effect on future bookings.
French hoteliers, ski instructors, shopkeepers, and seasonaires who make their living from the ski industry are planning a raucous send-off for holidaymakers boarding the final direct train of the season as it leaves the station for St Pancras at 9.30am on April 6 2019.
Bourg-Saint-Maurice is the station for nearby resorts that include Val d’Isère, Tignes, Les Arcs and La Plagne.
If your clients are planning to drive to the Alps or the Pyrenees after Britain leaves the EU on March 29, they might need some extra documentation.
For a start, they might need an international driving permit to be able to drive on European roads if the UK exits without a deal. If their journey will take them to several EU countries, they might need more than one permit. Each one costs £5.50 and can be bought at selected large Post Offices.
Assuming we leave the EU without a deal, drivers might also need a Green Card to drive their own vehicles in countries within the EU and the EEA as well as Switzerland and Andorra. Drivers must apply to their car insurance provider for a Green Card, which could take up to four weeks to arrive.
Drivers are also being advised by the Government to place a GB sticker on their cars, especially if they have a number plate that displays the Euroepan flag, to make it clear that they are from outside the EU.
How would a no-deal Brexit affect the travel industry? MPI Brokers gives its interpretation of information from various sources
Insurance and the European Health Insurance Card
The future of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) has not been agreed and it is likely that from the withdrawal date UK residents will not be able to use the EHIC and UK prescriptions will no longer be valid in the EU.
Insurance polices (e.g. travel and tour operator liability) however, will remain in force after we exit the EU, but premiums are likely to rise over time.
It is expected that agreements for medical expenses of UK travellers in EU countries will be negotiated piecemeal. Needless to say, this may take some time.
Insurers who are established in the EU and provide insurance in the UK will have temporary permission to continue.
What Will Happen to the English Consumers of the French Mountains after March 29?
Like most economic sectors, the French mountain wonders and prepares for a possible exit of Europe from Great Britain on March 29th where the British clientele is the first foreign clientele of the French resorts.
Hard, soft, soft … In recent weeks we use almost as many qualifiers to imagine the Brexit as to distinguish the quality of the fresh snow fallen in abundance in the resorts. Brexit hard, plan B or postponement of the exit, what kind of agreement on the withdrawal will be finally endorsed? Like the press releases issued in January by Matignon and Medef, the French economy is getting organized to prepare for the worst.
Many sectors are concerned about the financial consequences of this divorce. Starting with tourism and especially the French mountains where 9% of skier days are sold to British (DSF figures), a percentage which is multiplied up to 4 or 5 in some resorts! “Great Britain has about 1.2 million skiers and France is number 1 with 33.5% of the market,” says Jean-Marc Silva, General Manager of France Montagnes.
A clientele that could be cooled, at least in the first time, if the re-establishment of the borders was adopted (Hard Brexit) and the time to the customs and the formalities of passage lengthened.