First quarter BBB sees sales drop by 11%

BETA’s quarterly Business Barometer reports that sales declined by 11% in the first quarter of 2020 as the country moved to lockdown due to Covid-19

The data was collected by independent tourism market research agency STR who surveyed BETA’s members in the UK youth, student and educational travel sector.

The majority of members reported losses of between £250,000 to £5 million so far and the vast majority stated that they require government support now and/or in the future. Help with covering salaries (76%) and long-term relief from paying business related taxes (59%) were the two key support mechanisms being highlighted.

Emma English, Executive Director of BETA said

This quarter’s results show the severe impact that Covid-19 has had on our sector. The short term business confidence of our members is significantly below any previously reported levels. Unless we can get some greater support from government in the form of rate relief for our tour operator, language school and other members – simply put, these businesses will not survive, resulting in billions of future revenue being lost.”

Sean Morgan, Director of Research, Tourism Consumer Insights – STR, said: 

“COVID-19 has had a profound impact on businesses across the world. The research conducted for BETA reflects other research we’ve conducted during this challenging period as travel education businesses recorded significant reductions in customers and turnover and diminished expectations of future performance. However, it is encouraging to see travel education businesses indicating increasing business confidence over the medium (next 12 months) and long term (next 2 years) which reinforces the need for effective and timely support to enable a quicker recovery.”