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The Caribbean and Brexit: Potential Implications

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The Caribbean and Brexit: Potential Implications 

By Charlene Small

 

brexit 
 

On June 23 2016, the world watched with wide-eyes as British voters gave a referendum that would result in Britain’s exit from the European Union (hence, the term “Brexit”), catapulting the world into a new era. Now as Brexit starts to unfold, only one thing is certain – uncertainty.

Brexit will be a long process, with experts stating that it will not be for several years before the effects of this movement is truly felt. But this unprecedented event does have a lot of industries wondering what comes next and how to prepare for it. Particularly, the travel and tourism industries are beginning to prepare for a significant change. With close ties to Britain and tourism making up the bulk of its income, the Caribbean is one region that is weighing its options, as it will undoubtedly feel the effects of Brexit.

In fact, the Caribbean, particularly Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Caicos Islands, must consider a bevy of potential outcomes. Brexit could create possible complications on the flow of trade and development. It will greatly reduce the region’s ability to influence policy issues in Europe, which was traditionally dependent on Britain’s seat at the “European table”. It will create a range of new obstacles for the United Kingdom’s (U.K.) territories and former dependencies overseas. Finally, Brexit will mean a tremendously long period of uncertainty as Britain’s foreign, trade and development policy begins to reshape.

One immediate impact of Brexit is the value of the British Pound. Since the vote, it has become twelve percent less valuable, a 31-year low. This will limit the purchasing power of the U.K.’s middle class, which will ultimately result in a much slower growth rate for the Caribbean region. The decreased value of the Pound has also impacted travel in the U.K., slowing down tremendously in what is typically the busiest season of the year.

Understandably travel from the U.K., especially to regions overseas, will be hit hard and many of the freedoms British travelers have enjoyed could be under scrutiny. One such freedom to be tested is the European Open Skies agreement, which saw the introduction of low-cost airlines to Britain’s repertoire of jet-setting world travel. Travel regulations will indeed need to be examined, to determine which laws will remain and which will be phased out.

Perhaps one of the Caribbean’s largest concerns (especially for the English-speaking nations and territories) is the loss of their biggest advocate in the European Union. Without the British voice, the Caribbean may face a long road to regain the political position they currently have.

As more of the terms of Brexit are revealed, focus is again brought to the need for the Caribbean to increase economic resiliency in tourism by focusing their efforts on long-term, sustainable planning and investment positions. The Tourism industry in the region must assess how much the U.K. is involved currently, get to know the individuals that are involved, continue to diversify their economies, and ensure collaboration between industry and governments are restored in order to preserve their economic well-being.

Nothing is certain as this movement begins. In fact, Brexit terms include a two-year window of leaving conditions, which doesn’t begin to touch on rebuilding conditions. The Caribbean, just like a large portion of the world, must begin to weigh all of its options, as well as start to make new connections in the European Union in order to monitor legislative activities and ensure its interests are protected.

Millennials Most Likely to Feel Guilt for Taking Time Off Work

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Millennials Most Likely to Feel Guilt for Taking Time Off Work

But “GVS” Affects Every Worker, Not Just Millennials

 GVS 2016 image 

What is GVS?

Guilty Vacation Syndrome, or GVS, now affects a growing percentage of the American population. GVS is the nagging urge to cancel or delay vacation, due to guilt.  With vacation-shaming growing in offices across the world, there has been a surge in diagnoses of GVS. Workers feel that despite wanting a vacation, they shouldn’t take one.

In fact, findings from the 2016 Alamo Family Vacation Survey show 59 percent of Millennials reported feeling a sense of shame for taking or planning a vacation, while 41 percent those 35 or older felt those same symptoms of GVS. Nearly half (47 percent) of all workers surveyed said they felt a sense of shame or guilt at their workplace for taking time off to go on a vacation. What’s more, two-fifths (42 percent) of those think their co-workers are seriously shaming them – not just joking. And nearly half (47 percent) said they’ve felt the need to justify to their employer why they’re using their vacation days. 

Of those who reported having unused paid vacation days, two-fifths (40 percent) said they left five or more vacation days unused in 2015! A full week of work left on the table simply because workers do not want to deal with the guilt associated with taking a vacation. Recent research from Project: Time Off shows that an astounding fifty-five percent of Americans didn’t use all of their time off in 2015 and sixty-five percent say that their company discourages, sends mixed messages, or says nothing about taking personal time off. 

Vacations are supposed to be a source of relaxation and family bonding, yet people still feel like a vacation will hurt their work-life. It’s time to change that mentality and cure Americans of their GVS ailment.

We believe that everyone needs to learn to shed the guilt of taken well-earned time off. We all know the benefits of regular vacationing. And being able to prepay for a vacation should help people ignore that nagging pain that tries to tell them not to go on vacation.

 

2015 Shows Another Year of Substantial Growth for Our Industry

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2015 Shows Another Year of Substantial Growth for Our Industry

By Darla Zanini, Executive VP, ARDA International Foundation (AIF)

July 6, 2016

 

We are happy to share the latest research from our State of the Vacation Timeshare Industry: United States Study 2016.  It shows that the timeshare industry enjoyed substantial growth in 2015.  Here are a few of the highlights.

When comparing 2015 to 2014:

Sales volume increased by nine percent, to $8.6 billion, the second largest increase since the recession – our sixth straight year of growth!

1,547 timeshare resorts in the United States, representing about 200,720 units

Average resort size was 130 units

The average sales price was $22,240

Occupancy increased two percent, up to almost 80 percent (compared to a 66* percent hotel occupancy rate).

There were some other interesting tidbits as well: 

Beach resorts are the most common type of resort

Theme park resorts have the highest occupancy

Florida has the most resorts—24% of the national total

Nevada has the largest average resort size—230 units on average

Hawaii has the highest occupancy rate for a region, at 86.7%

For more details, check out our infographic and for a full copy of the State of the Industry Study, please contact me at dzanini@arda.org.

*STR Monthly Hotel Review: December 2014, Smith Travel Research. 


 

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