They were once a popular destination for many German schoolchildren: as a result of Brexit and the pandemic, a number of British language schools have found themselves in dire straits. The Tourism Alliance expects a severe drop in sales this year, which will endanger 40,000 jobs, as the Observer reported on Easter Sunday.
Language travelers prefer to fly to Ireland and Malta
According to the association, before Brexit, more than 1.5 million children and young people came to Great Britain on organized school trips or individual language trips to learn English. They accounted for about eleven percent of annual tourism revenue. In the meantime, many interested parties are more likely to choose Ireland and Malta.
Corona entry rules, which have long posed high hurdles, no longer apply in Great Britain. However, after Brexit, all EU citizens must now show a passport, and those arriving from outside the EU even need a visa. This is having a “destructive impact on a large number of smaller businesses,” Kurt Janson, head of the Tourism Alliance, told the newspaper.
A third of the school travel market in Great Britain is in danger of collapsing
“The collapse of the school travel market is unnecessary because school children do not pose a safety risk,” said Janson. They would not start working illegally and their parents were anxious that they would come back home. The British government must therefore find “pragmatic solutions” together with the industry.
The association English UK, in which many language schools are organized, says that 15 percent of its own members have closed their operations permanently. “Then there is another 15 percent who are not sure if they will survive the year,” said association director Huan Japes. “So we could lose 30 percent.”
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