TA Update (10 Nov) + UKEVENTS Social Media, Open Letters to New Government + Other updates

  1. Launch of TA report on school group travel: market dives 83% due to passport rules
  2. See you at the Tourism Industry Conference next week

Launch of TA report on school group travel: market dives 83% due to passport rules

Earlier today we launched a new report alongside colleagues from BETA, English UK, and UKInbound with research into what’s happened with school group travel numbers coming to the UK. The numbers are stark, and pretty much exactly what the industry predicted.

In the survey of 82 specialist European tour operators, the number of students they sent to the UK in 2022 was down 83% compared to 2019.

This dramatic drop is due to the elimination of the ‘List of Travellers’ scheme whereby EU students in organised school groups, accompanied by teachers, could travel to the UK using their national ID cards rather than passports.

There is now a requirement that all such students must have a full passport. This is a document that many EU children normally do not need to travel around most of Europe, and so many do not have one. Figures vary by country but, for example, it is estimated that only 35% of Italian school children have a passport. The cost (anywhere between €50-€120) and administrative burden of obtaining such documents is a substantial barrier to those considering a trip to the UK.

In 2019, the UK hosted 1.2m students from EU countries who came to learn English, experience the country’s history and culture, or to attend cultural and sporting event. These students spend £1bn in the local economy, support around 17,000 jobs and are a significant component of the UK’s soft power activities.

It is more complicated still for the many schools who have pupils whose parents are foreign immigrants. These children have the right to live in the EU but do not yet have access to an EU passport. To obtain a passport, they have to apply to the country from which their parents fled and even if they obtain one, many would also need a visa to enter the UK. The effect of all this is that it is much easier for schools to organise trips to countries other than the UK.

The industry is not expected to recover, as operators indicate that the number of school groups they will send to the UK in 2023 will be down by at least 60%, meaning a further loss of revenue for the UK economy of £600m.

You can access the press release and the recording of the launch webinar. Please share these widely amongst your networks. The recording is also posted to on our Twitter account (https://twitter.com/tourismsvoice) and on our LinkedIn page (https://www.linkedin.com/company/tourism-alliance/) so please share these widely too.

Pleased to say we got some coverage in City AM.

See you at the Tourism Industry Conference next week

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at the Tourism Industry conference next week being hosted by us, The Tourism Society and British Destinations.

We’re especially pleased to be welcoming shadow tourism minister, Jeff Smith MP to address the conference. We will also be hearing from colleagues from YouGov, News UK, CDMS, the Tourism Industry Council, Visit England, the Home Office and more, with a great panel discussion lined up on statutory registration.

Registration has now closed, but if you’re already on the list we shall see you at 0930 on Tuesday 15th November at the Royal Over-Seas League, London, SW1A 1LR.

Free ATHE seminar: Tourism resilience, recovery and rejuvenation. London Friday 25 November

We are inviting you or a colleague from The Tourism Alliance to attend the Association for Tourism in Higher Education (ATHE) seminar on resilience, recovery and rejuvenation in tourism  and what that means for tourism professionals. The event will be at The University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS, and will begin at 10h45 on November 25th. 

As you will see from this flyer, a key focus of the discussion will be around the ways tourism education and industry can work together to build a better future for tourism. There will be presentations from: 

Tracy Halliwell, Director of Tourism, Conventions & Major Events at London & Partners

Claire Haven-Tang, Associate Dean (Research) and Professor of Destination Development at Cardiff Metropolitan University

Brian Pearce, former Chief Economist of IATA and visiting professor at Cranfield University

Navin Silwal, Community Manager at The XCHG

There will be opportunities for discussion with the panel and with one another and for informal discussions over lunch.

We would be delighted if you or a colleague or colleagues could attend. The event is free and you simply need to register at www.athe.org.uk/booking/ 

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