Brexit may impact Bay Area tourism this summer

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If you work for or run a business that caters to Europeans visiting the Bay Area, there could be some long-term concern.

Britain will be the first major country to leave the EU, which was born from the ashes of World War II as European leaders sought to build links and avert future hostility. With no precedent, the impact on the single market of 500 million people - the world's largest economy - is unclear.

The euro fell against the dollar and the pound dropped to its lowest level since 1985, plunging more than 10 percent from about $1.50 to $1.35 before a slight recovery, on concerns that severing ties with the single market will hurt the U.K. economy and undermine London's position as a global financial center. Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney sought to reassure the markets.

RELATED: So how is the average American affected by the Brexit?

In the U.S. nothing has changed yet, except for the weakening of European currencies compared to the dollar. In the short term, that's good news if you're planning a vacation to the U.K.

But if you work for or run a business that caters to Europeans visiting the Bay Area, there could be some long-term concern.

Union Square might seem like a strange place to ask about Britain's vote to withdraw from the European Union, but not when you consider how much those tourists spend here. Nobody knows better than Karen Diesner, who began selling art to them at about the same time that the U.K. joined the EU.

"I worry about the stock market more than anything else," said one.
RELATED: US stocks plunge on Brexit vote

But it's all connected, especially in a city like San Francisco, which relies on tourists.

Here's a Danish tourist talking about the difference he was already paying between eating here and eating at home.

"It's $10-$20 more per meal," says Soren Hanson.

And that was before European currencies dropped in value, roughly two percent for the euro and six percent for the British pound.

RELATED: Foreign tech entrepreneurs visiting SF react to Brexit

But it's all connected, especially in a city like San Francisco, which relies on tourists.

Here's a Danish tourist talking about the difference he was already paying between eating here and eating at home.

"It's $10-$20 more per meal," says Soren Hanson.

And that was before European currencies dropped in value, roughly two percent for the euro and six percent for the British pound.

At Pacific Foreign Exchange, owner Brian Etemad has a 20 pound note that had been worth thirty dollars on Thursday. On Friday it's worth $27.50.

It's a case of trickle-down economics possibly coming to roost. Just ask a San Francisco institution like Lavan Wade, who works mostly for tips

"Nothing has changed so far. So far, we're good," said Lavan Wade, a bellman at the Sir Francis Drake hotel.

Click here for more stories about the Brexit.

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newseuropean unioneuropeu.s. & worldwall streetfinancebarack obamadonald trumphillary clintontourismtouristbay areatraveltravel tipsbrexit
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