18 Apr

ABTA and Seasonal Businesses in Travel welcome European Commission announcement on Youth Mobility

ABTA and Seasonal Businesses in Travel (SBiT) welcome today’s announcement from the European Commission that they are recommending to the Council that negotiations be opened with the United Kingdom on a youth mobility agreement, a move both organisations have been lobbying for in Brussels and Westminster.  

A deal on youth mobility will make it easier for young Brits to live, work and study in Europe for a temporary period, typically up to two years, without the need to obtain a full visa (and vice-versa for young Europeans to come to the UK).

The travel industry has been particularly affected by post-Brexit restrictions on the mobility of young people. Research from ABTA and SBiT, published last year, found that the number of UK nationals working in tourism roles across Europe has fallen by 69% since Brexit. The decline is related to post-Brexit requirements for UK nationals to obtain visas and work permits to undertake typical tourism roles, such as travel reps or chalet hosts.

The trade bodies say that outbound travel businesses need UK staff to work in EU resorts to support UK customers on their holidays. They also point out the reciprocal benefits of mobility for inbound and domestic tourism businesses operating within the UK.

Luke Petherbridge, Director of Public Affairs at ABTA – The Travel Association said:

“We strongly welcome today’s announcement and urge the UK government to be ready to begin negotiations should the Commission’s proposal be accepted by the Member States.

Post-Brexit restrictions on UK-EU labour mobility have undoubtedly been detrimental to the UK travel and tourism industry, whether outbound, inbound or domestic. However, the impacts are being most keenly felt by young people, who are now less able to access the roles that have previously proven a springboard for successful careers, as well as providing enriching and rewarding experiences.

ABTA has long argued that youth mobility should be a priority for both sides as we seek to rebuild relations post-Brexit, and we hope that negotiations can now begin quickly.”

Charles Owen, Managing Director of Seasonal Businesses in Travel said:

“A reciprocal youth mobility scheme is a win-win for both Europe and the UK, and in particular for UK travel businesses operating in the EU.

“Momentum is building to get this deal done and we implore the Prime Minister to engage in conversations with the outbound industry to prepare for the upcoming nefoations appropriately. This is a serious economic and cultural issue”.

Notes to editors

ABTA is a trade association for UK travel agents, tour operators and the wider travel industry. We’re the largest travel trade body, with over 4,600 travel brands in membership who have a combined pre-pandemic annual UK turnover of £40 billion. We work closely with our members to help raise and maintain standards and build a more sustainable travel industry, and provide travellers with advice, guidance and support.

Our members sign up to a code of conduct and commit to agreed service standards and fair trading. When you need clear travel information, and accurate and impartial advice relating to your trip, we’re here for you. When you book with an ABTA member, reliable advice comes as standard. This means that booking with our members brings peace of mind.

All this together means we help you travel with confidence. www.abta.com