Up to a third of travellers from Germany, Italy and Spain, and a quarter from France would be less motivated to travel to the UK in the event of a Leave vote in the forthcoming referendum.
Four in 10 respondents from EU countries also expressed concern that Brexit could make UK holidays more expensive, according to the study published by global travel deals publisher Travelzoo and Bournemouth University.
Whilst the four four largest EU nations France, Germany, Italy and Spain believe that the UK should stay in the EU, some nations particularly France believe that leaving the EU could make the UK a safer destination for holidays.
Almost three quarters of the UK’s international visitors come from within the EU.
The study also claims holidays for Britons in Europe could become more expensive. More than a third (40%) of respondents in France and Spain feel it would be fair to impose higher fees, such as a hiked city tax, on British visitors, if the UK votes to leave on June 23.
Joel Brandon-Bravo, Travelzoo UK managing director, said: “Our neighbours in Europe clearly don’t want the UK to leave the EU, and the impact of this sentiment could translate into a significant drop in bookings to the UK from the largest European countries.
“When combined with a potential loss of more than 10% of visitors from North America, as indicated in our research, it’s clear that Brexit could be very bad news for the UK’s domestic tourism industry.
“Similarly, UK consumers looking to travel abroad also have concerns about Brexit impacting the outbound tourism industry.”
John Fletcher, pro vice chancellor at Bournemouth University, added: “Although the impact of Brexit on tourism is a difficult one to predict, given that France, Germany, Italy and Spain make up four of the UK’s top seven tourist-supplying countries – accounting for more than 11 million international visitors annually – it’s likely that the net result of Brexit will be significantly negative for the UK economy.
“While the figures above reflect only the direct tourism-related economic impacts of voting to leave the EU, if tourist spending from overseas visitors did indeed fall by £4.1 billion per year, this is likely to reduce HMRC revenue by more than £1.1 billion and reduce support for around 63,000 jobs in the UK.
“Even though a UK exit would take some time to complete, especially as renegotiating our revised status with Europe could take five to seven years from start to completion, there will be immediate effects created by this uncertainty.”