Earlier this week members of BETA came together to mark the 16th anniversary of the association at the Houses of Parliament
In his opening address the association chairman Steve Lowy reflected on the formation of the association back in 2003 and set out the long terms strategic objectives of the association which still reman today:
- To raise the profile and importance of the industry
- To create a network for businesses to meet, network and trade
He went on to say
“Creating an association and active network has been vital for our industry to grow, to benchmark, to information share and to collectively speak with a unified voice and to fly the flag for this vibrant and valuable industry.”
Our industry is worth £27 billion to the UK economy – this is equal to the UK’s most valuable brand Vodafone
It supports over 265,000 jobs UK jobs – this is 60% more than the number of employees at Royal Mail
Our latest statistics show that last year 15.2 million young travellers visited the UK to study, tour or work which accounted for 38% of all international arrivals
“Our goal is to work together with you and the other influencers in the room here today to grow the number of young people that are choosing the UK as a destination.
Equally, we are keen to ensure that the UK’s own young people travel the world to tour, study or work in another destination.”
Parliamentary Sponsor Lord Smith of Hindhead congratulated the association on its anniversary and said
“Thank you very much indeed for everything you do. it is really important for young people to travel, to learn a lot about the world and come home safely so that they can live a full and interesting life.“
Providing the Keynote Address at the event Baroness Doocey said:
“We want the world over to know that despite our current technical hitches that the United Kingdom is still amongst the best culturally rich, historically significant and educationally competitive countries in the world.
Our visa policy remains unduly hostile and extremely complex those who used to come from EU countries for a taster of what the country has to offer with a view to living here and studying here are now being discouraged from doing so.”
Closing the event, Lowy said
“Social and cultural links from this type of travel can be felt over a lifetime through inward investment, global trade, employment, tourism and the overall competitiveness of Britain in the world.
We need Government to champion our industry in order for us to prosper.”
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