Youth & Student Travel in Parliament

Youth & Student Travel in Parliament

120 + BETA members, MPs, Lords and distinguished guests gathered in the House of Lords to mark the 20th anniversary of the British Educational Travel Association

This important annual event helps to highlight the importance of our industry and to work together to ensure that youth mobility to and from the UK is as easy and attractive as possible.

Also in attendance was a delegation of international partners. These representatives of international networks, collectively drive valuable business to the UK year after year.

Welcoming the group Chairman Steve Lowy thanked them for their commitment and partnership with BETA’s UK-based members and added

As a country, we have not always made it easy for you to do so. Since the UK left the EU it has become harder for school groups to visit the UK and for international young people to live and work in the EU

The strong message from BETA is that the travel industry and the government must work to ensure that as far as possible there are mutually beneficial reciprocal arrangements in place to facilitate tourism and create life-enhancing opportunities for young people to become global citizens.

We need to create the conditions that allow the industry to flourish in the future and enable arrangements to be put in place to broaden the UK’s horizons and create an open and welcoming environment for tourism, education and employment.

The UK must focus on friendlier visa policies and attractive marketing campaigns if we are to achieve our full potential as a world-class destination.

We can help to address the UK’s skills deficit, our labour shortage issues, and our international competitiveness whilst bolstering the government’s ambition for a Global Britain if the Government can allocate the right level of support to enable us to do so.

Parliamentary sponsor Baroness Doocey OBE said

The Liberal Democrats would make it a priority to tackle the devastating impact of new entry requirements for school groups travelling to and from the UK

Jeff Smith, Shadow Tourism Minister urged all parliamentarians in the room to champion these issues saying

The creation of the Youth Group Trave Scheme is a big priority for me in my current role and one that I’ve been having some positive discussions with our Home Office team in the Labour Party. So I hope we can work in partnership to harness tourism potential to foster prosperity around the country and to get young overseas visitors to and from the UK

Young people are the UK’s biggest advocates, part of a digital generation that will share, inform, influence and drive significant parts of the UK economy. 

Urging the government for support Lowy closed with

We are at a time when the UK needs to grow its economy, improve its soft power and make sure that we have a sustainable tourism industry looking ahead – investment in Youth, Student and Educational travel now, will help that all happen

View the photo gallery below

Published 06 September 2023