Ending of travel restrictions boost StudyWorld spring event
25 March 2022

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Ending of travel restrictions boost StudyWorld spring event

Positive news about inbound travel to the UK was shared at StudyWorld spring.

Our online spring event, attended by 60 educators and service providers, and 105 agents and buyers from all over the world, included over 1000 online meetings and seminar briefings and focused on promoting UK summer programmes.

The lifting of UK travel restrictions a few days before the event began improved the positive atmosphere, with hopes of the best summer season since before the pandemic.

Discussing events in Ukraine, our chief executive Jodie Gray condemned the invasion and expressed support "to the people of Ukraine, and our many Ukrainian colleagues, and partners and their students, families, friends and neighbours... We are mindful of the position of Russian colleagues, students, partners and friends, many of whom oppose this conflict at great personal risk."

Jodie said English UK was focusing on what it could do to support Ukrainian students and colleagues, signposting guidance, using its influence to improve visa conditions and access to support, and considering how UK ELT could best help those fleeing the conflict.

She said she was "incredibly heartened" by offers of help from members, and the association was working to understand in an evolving situation how best to support Ukrainian people. "We do feel certain we have a role to play and will share details of programmes as they develop... and offers of help from members who have had no students since 2019 remind me that there is still good in the world," she said, adding that there was a role for the whole industry to play through intercultural understanding.

Miranda Brown of VisitBritain shared data and insights including flight bookings and arrivals, forecasts for recovery, and global perceptions of Britain. It is hoped that by summer this year inbound visitor volume with increase to around half of pre-Covid levels and to two-thirds of pre-Covid levels by the end of the year, she said, describing a "fast dramatic rebound" of bookings in the first quarter of 2022.

One study showed that people were moving away from talking about Covid when planning travel, instead focusing on getting a great deal and money-back guarantees.

She said that the proportion of study visitors to the UK had increased during 2021 compared with 2019 to 2.7% of the total, up from 1.5%. Spending had also increased to 14% of the total compared with 5%.

We are grateful to gold sponsors the British Council and Trinity College London and silver sponsors Centre of English Studies, Disquiet Dog and Endsleigh insurance, whose support helps us keep costs low for attendees.

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