Tom Jenkins, CEO, ETOA, the European tourism association gave evidence recently to the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee in the Houses of Parliament.
Jenkins told the Sub- Committee that Brexit is already harming the inbound travel industry and that unless carefully handled, it will further damage productivity. ETOA is asking for assurances that hiring non-UK EU workers remains free from bureaucratic burdens.
“The inbound industry is crucial to the UK’s success as it is responsible for earning foreign currency, but it is experiencing a recruitment crisis,” said Jenkins, adding, “The industry needs to hire poly-lingual graduates. This is a group of people the UK is not good at producing but the other EU countries are. Before the Brexit vote, the UK was seen as the place for young graduates to go but since then, the atmosphere has soured and owing to the fall in the value of Sterling, pay has dropped. What people don’t appreciate is that if you want to set up an English- speaking office, you don’t need to do it in the UK anymore; there are excellent multi-lingual companies all over the EU and the cream of EU graduates will join them instead, to the detriment of UK-based companies. We are starting to see the start of a borderless market in Europe for travel; it will be the largest market for travel in the world and it appears the UK will be left out of it” .
Photo: Tom Jenkins, CEO, ETOA