The BTA and other industry bodies are calling on City and Guilds to backtrack on its decision to stop offering Aviation, Travel and Tourism qualifications.
The qualifications will close to new entrants between December 2023 and August 2024.
Announcing the move, City & Guilds said it wanted to focus on delivering industry specific qualifications to a smaller number of sectors in the future.
“This is to enable us to provide a broader range of services to our learners and customers in the industries where we believe we can have the most significant impact,” it said.
“As part of this move, City & Guilds has unfortunately made the decision to withdraw from offering Aviation, Travel and Tourism qualifications in the future.”
The BTA, ABTA, the Institute of Travel and Tourism, UKinbound and the Tourism Alliance have formed a joint working party to understand the changes and to develop a co-ordinated and collaborative response.
A statement from the BTA said the decision was “ironic and misguided”.
“The travel industry not only contributes to the UK economy but significantly impacts the operations of the country,” it said.
“In our recent report on the industry’s contribution to the UK economy, 51% of businesses outlined face-to-face interaction as the number one success factor in winning new clients, with wider in-person interactions facilitating trust and strong working relationships. This is why it is paramount that travel and tourism courses remain open to all students.
“As an industry greatly impacted by this decision, we urge the Department of Education to reverse this decision to ensure other educational institutions do not follow suit and prevent any more damage.”
It is believed the Government plans to stop funding travel and tourism qualifications as part of Department for Education (DfE) plans to streamline post-16 Level 3 qualifications to focus on A levels and technical T levels.
Luke Petherbridge, ABTA Director of Public Affairs, said: “ABTA is extremely concerned about any limiting of opportunities to pursue qualifications and careers in travel and tourism, particularly at a time when the industry is already struggling with recruitment issues.
“We know our members really value these courses as an important route into the sector and their businesses.
“Together we are committed to identifying solutions to adequately replace defunded qualifications and to fulfil the future skills needs of the travel industry.”