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Good or bad for tourism?

Today is one of those momentous days when history changed and you're likely to remember it for the rest of your lives...we left Europe. Or at least we voted to - the actual process of leaving is likely to take years.

As hoteliers, we were very 50/50 on the decision because as with most things you look at in relation to Europe, there were good points and bad points and it's difficult to second guess how the industry might be affected as a result of the decision.

A major game changer for us is the ability for the Government to now be able to choose its own VAT limits and on whatever items it likes. There has been a big campaign for a long time trying to get the UK tourism on a level playing field with the rest of Europe who have some countries with VAT on tourism as low as 5%! This makes it difficult for hotels and B&Bs in this country to be as competitive on price.

I'm sure we will all be hoping for less red tape and bureaucratic rules for the sake of them, but then it always seemed we were the only ones to follow them anyway. Go to a hotel in Spain for instance and I challenge you to find a bedroom with a fire door and automatic closer - and they seem to have no issue having electrics and hairdryers right next to the sink let alone in the bathroom. Time will tell how many of the laws of the last decades will now be overturned.

The hotel industry will be waiting with baited breath on the decision to be made on foreign workers. We are lucky as there's just myself and Julian but times are now very uncertain for some city centre hotels whose staff are made up mainly by Europeans from all over the world. Will they still be allowed to work here? Will they still want to? And what of all my friends currently working abroad - will they be shipped back home?

The currency markets have fluctuated wildly today but I'm sure they will settle down again. It could be good for us - a lower pound means more foreign travellers come here to stay and less of us go abroad and maybe have a long weekend away in Torquay instead? But, job uncertainty, less money in our pockets, higher prices and potentially rising interest rates could put off people in this country from going away quite as much.

It's certainly a time of great change and so much needs to be sorted out before the picture begins to get clearer. Who knows what the UK will look like in the future, in fact it's now looking like the UK will be no more and little old England may have to exist all alone.

Whatever the future holds for us all, we still plan to be here, offering excellent customer service, great food and lovely rooms.

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