Industry representatives in Scotland face a relatively quiet day following a No vote on independence after recent frantic efforts to prepare for the fall-out of a possible Yes vote.
Sandy MacPherson, political convener of the Scottish Passenger Agents Association (SPAA), said: “Probably everybody is giving a huge sign of relief that the whole process is over. We now know the will of the Scottish people.”
Scotland voted by 55% to 45% against independence from the UK in yesterday’s referendum.
The SPAA took a neutral position on the vote and MacPherson said: “Families and friends have been divided so it is quite right the SPAA adopted a neutral stance.”
He added: “It’s a pretty resounding result, but a very sizeable minority voted one way and a majority another.”
MacPherson told Travel Weekly: “We’ve been holding one to one meetings with the spokespeople on travel of the four main parties at Holyrood on the burning issues if Scotland decided to separate.
“As it turns out, it is going to be largely business as usual. If it had been a Yes, we would have been frantically running around arranging meetings with MSPs and MPs on the transition arrangements and on consumer financial protection – which under the current arrangements applies only to travel from the UK.
“Now we want to see what powers Westminster devolves to the Scottish Parliament.
“We will continue our lobbying at Holyrood and Westminster and see whether any of the powers to be devolved impact on travel, including Air Passenger duty (APD).”
MacPherson said: “Personally, I suspect APD will not be devolved [because] there are huge implications for England.”
However, he added: “The referendum will be a catalyst for change. I have never known an issue where so many people were engaged.
“A lot of people will be bitterly disappointed. Hopefully, everybody will accept the validity of the result. I think people will come together.”
In a statement, travel association Abta said: “Today’s ‘no’ vote brings to a close a protracted period of uncertainty and means travel companies and their customers can continue with the current regulatory and business systems.
“Some of the travel issues raised during the independence debate, such as Air Passenger Duty and consumer protection, remain live issues, and Abta will continue to engage with these on behalf of its members in Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
UKinbound chief executive Deirdre Wells said: “We are delighted that after a period of some uncertainty, Scotland has voted to remain part of the UK.”
William Macleod, executive director of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) in Scotland, said: “The Scottish hospitality industry welcomes the clarity which follows the referendum vote.”
But he added: “Many issues will require attention as arrangements are made to devolve greater powers to the Scottish Parliament.”
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