The English Learning Industry is looking forward to reopening on the 1st June as per government’s announcement of the opening of the tourism season on the same day.
Throughout the pandemic, ELT schools, members of the Federation of English Language Teaching Schools (FELTOM), have been incessantly marketing themselves and their courses and the result of these efforts has been very positive. To date in fact, member schools have received 10,711 bookings for the second and third quarter of this year, according to a survey conducted this week by FELTOM.
Each student booking means an average stay of three weeks.
According to the survey however, the extended closure that continued to be imposed on English language schools also led to 2,124 cancellations. Schools also reported an additional 2,849 English language learners who have postponed their travel plans indefinitely.
“The English language teaching industry in Malta has, for the past fourteen months , experienced financial devastation with no end in sight. The industry has been respectful of and compliant with government measures from the start and has been lobbying with government for financial aid for weeks to ensure that the businesses, which contribute so much to Malta’s economy, will survive,” said Rebecca Bonnici, FELTOM’s Chairperson.
“We feel that if the ELT industry continues to be discriminated against, these 10,711 bookings, together with the potential 2,807 that have postponed their travels, will be lost to competing markets which have started to open their doors to ELT students, effectively putting the last nails in the industry’s coffin,”
The markets being targeted by FELTOM’s member schools include Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Colombia, Chile, Japan, Russia, South Korea and Turkey.
The ELT industry was one of the first and most terribly hit industries. Besides continuing huge financial losses being incurred by the schools, other service providers such as school employees, accommodation providers, host families, to mention but a few have also been severely affected, The pandemic also cancelled the ELT sector’s significant contribution to the Maltese economy. In 2019 alone, the total spend of ELT students in Malta was close to €200 million.