People, Travel

Brexit Could Cost Scottish Tourism Dear

Brexit Could Cost Scottish Tourism DearBrexit Could Cost Scottish Tourism Dear

Brexit could create a £270 million barrier to business and tourism due to visa charges, the Scottish National Party has claimed.

The party says figures from the Office for National Statistics show there could be £120 million worth of visa charges for EU visitors visiting Scotland each year.

The UK currently charges £87 for a standard visa, while the cost of a visa for EU countries is €60, reported.

The SNP says since there has been no guarantee free travel within the EU will continue after Brexit, family holidays will become more expensive and businesses will be disadvantaged.

ONS figures show people from Scotland made 2,846,000 visits to EU countries last year, meaning there could be almost £150 million worth of visa charges in the future.

The UK government has said it is determined to avoid barriers to trade and tourism as part of the Brexit process. Emma Harper MSP said, "It's over three months since the EU referendum and still we're none the wiser over what Brexit really means.

"And we've had no guarantees over protecting free travel in Europe—a right that lets people from Scotland go on holiday and do business without having to pay substantial visa charges.

"If the Tories decide we don't get to keep the benefits of free travel with our European neighbors that creates a £270 million 'Brexit Barrier'—the annual cost of Scots travelling to EU countries and for European visitors coming to Scotland."

Harpere added that for an average family, that would mean shelling out £350 in holiday taxes for a trip to France or Spain before taking into account flights, accommodation and other costs, which could price people out of the holiday market altogether.

"The economic consequences for Scotland could be dire with people from EU countries put off coming here to visit and do business—with a potentially drastic drop in tourism revenues," she said.

"We didn't vote for this to happen and we need assurances from the UK government that it won't. Meanwhile, it's absolutely right that the SNP is exploring all of the options to protect our continuing position within the EU and all the benefits and rights that come with that status."


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