BETA members join together to lobby in Parliament
Last week in Parliament BETA hosted a reception to highlight the enormous contribution that youth, student and educational travel delivers to the UK each year and to highlight the barriers to growth for our sector
The reception was kindly hosted by Lord Anderson and the keynote address was delivered by Jeff Smith MP, Shadow Tourism Minister. Both speakers advocated the importance of providing young people the opportunity to live, work and travel to and from the UK and the importance of finding a solution to our lobbying priorities which are:
- Creation of the Youth Group Travel Scheme – to allow low risk groups of under 18’s to travel to the UK for educational and cultural visits
- Expansion of the Youth Mobility Scheme into the EU – to provide opportunities for young people aged 18-30 to live, work and travel
Reflecting on the year BETA Chairman Steve Lowy said
Our role as a trade association has never been more important. Supporting our members through the pandemic, navigating the impacts of Brexit and treading the road to recovery has been our sole focus. Without our members, there would be no association and your robust resilience throughout all of this along with your unwavering support and optimism has been resolute.
It seems hard to believe that it has only been 9 months since all international travel restrictions were lifted. A watershed moment for us all, but of course that was just the start of our rebuild and 2022 has not been without its challenges
Lord Anderson, reflecting on his own career, commented
It was youth travel that opened my eyes to the world as a young man, which is why I was happy to put together a debate on the Youth Group Travel Scheme to reverse the catastrophic decline in European school visits
Jeff Smith, Shadow Tourism Minister
Youth, student and educational travel is such an important part of the tourism ecosystem and it does require specific support.
Giving young people a positive experience of the UK sets them up to visit again and again, to engage with British
culture in the future, boosting our tourism industry and boosting our soft power down the line. They are an
important economic driver on a local level across the whole of the UK
Thanks to the BETA members that took the time to invite their MP along to the reception. This has always been an important event for BETA and our membership and in the current climate it becomes even more poignant. This event helps us to come together as a united voice and to raise the profile and importance of youth, student and educational travel and we look forward to returning in 2023. Thanks also to the BETA members who came together to sponsor this event.
View the photo gallery from the reception here: Photo Gallery