Global Travel Collection (part of Barrhead parent Internova Travel Group) is calling on the UK government to reopen negotiations with the EU for visas for entertainment travel.
Since Brexit, British musicians and crews are no longer guaranteed visa-free travel and may need extra work permits to play in certain European countries.
Around 25% of Global Travel Collection’s business comes from entertainment travel, with many of its agents solely specialising in European touring for UK artists.
Jason Oshiokpekhai, managing director of Global Travel Collection, said: “It’s extremely disheartening that one month on from Brexit, the future of entertainment travel in Europe still hangs in the balance, with no indication that the situation may be resolved any time soon.
“Travelling in Europe to showcase music or the arts extends much further than just the artist. It is a direct reflection of the UK’s talent. The importance of this type of travel must not be underestimated as these artists, musicians and production teams play an essential role in stimulating the corporate travel sector and significantly contribute to our economy.
“The current situation with visas for entertainment travel in Europe is a major blow to the industry: it is a blow for artists, fans, aspiring musicians and the independent travel businesses whose livelihoods depend on organising all types of entertainment travel. Freedom to travel in Europe is fundamentally essential for the entertainment industry and for the corporate travel businesses who specialise in this sector.”
Oshiokpekhai added that the combination of Covid-19 and Brexit makes for a “fatal recipe” for the touring and entertainment travel industry.
“We urgently require the UK government to lay-out what can be done to mitigate this crisis. Without intervention or reopening the doors for negotiation, future growth of the entertainment travel sector will be stagnant.
“Our advisors are best in class for touring and production travel, producing some of the most memorable European and global tours for the world’s leading artists.
“We urge the UK government to start engaging in meaningful dialogue with representatives across the entire spectrum of the entertainment sector – including travel advisors – so we can discuss a practical way forward and understand how we will be able to fully support our advisors and their clients.”