Constituent policy

New passport policy negatively impacts UK travel market

According to Público, the analysis now indicates that the impact of the change in legislation could reach 1.7 billion euros for the British economy.

According to an analysis of 82 European tour operators, the number of students visiting the UK in 2022 fell by 83% compared to 2019.

This drop is due to the new passport policy and the abolition of the “Travellers List” whereby organized groups of students, accompanied by teachers, could travel to the UK using only their identity cards. instead of a passport.

This data has been made available by Tourism Alliance, UKinbound, English UK, BETA and ETOA.

The review authors note that “there is now a requirement that all such students must have a full passport. This is a document that many EU children do not normally need to travel to most of Europe, and many do not have this document.

The analysis also points out that “figures vary from country to country, but, for example, it is estimated that only 35% of Italian school-age children have a passport. The cost (between €50 and €120) and administrative burden of obtaining these documents is a significant hurdle for those considering a trip to the UK. »

In 2019, the United Kingdom welcomed 1.2 million students from EU countries who came to learn English, discover the country’s history and culture or take part in cultural and sporting events, believing that they have spent around £1billion (about €1.2billion) on economic premises, supporting almost 17,000 jobs, admitting that “they are an important component of the UK’s ‘soft power’ activities “.

The analysis also points out that “the sector is unlikely to recover as operators indicate that the number of school groups coming to the UK in 2023 will fall by at least 60%, meaning a further loss of revenue for the British economy. of 600 million pounds sterling (approximately 700 million euros).

Richard Toomer, Executive Director of the Tourism Alliance, says: “Student group travel was an important market for the UK economy.

Toomer concludes that “the government should urgently reinstate the ‘Traveller’s List’ or similar youth group travel scheme, recognizing the extremely low risk posed by these child travellers, the negligible cost and the positive economic impact.”