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WYSE Travel Confederation Publishes New Horizons III – The Largest Ever Research on Youth and Student Travel

  • Spending by youth travellers increased by 40% since 2007
  • Young people are travelling to gain cultural and work experience
  • Report reveals increasing complexity of youth & student travel market

The World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation (WYSE Travel Confederation) has published its New Horizon’s III report, the largest and most comprehensive survey ever undertaken for the youth travel sector.

The report, which is the latest edition in a benchmark study first conducted in 2002 and then 2007, looks at why, how and where young people travel to, as well as the growing requirements of the ever expanding industry.

Having surveyed over 34,000 young travellers from 137 countries, New Horizons III reveals the industry’s most detailed insight into how the youth travel industry has become increasingly complex, appealing to a larger and more diverse demographic than ever before.

Not only has the age range of people considering themselves as travellers increased – with travelling seen as a state of mind rather than an age category – but so to has the variety of reasons for people travelling. The report sheds light on how motivations behind youth travel are evolving and shows a significant rise in the trend of cultural tourism.

Young travellers are putting more emphasis on gaining cultural, educational and work experience, as well as improving their education and work prospects rather than simply travelling to have a holiday.

The report shows that young travellers now represent 20 per cent of international tourism, making it a hugely important economic force. In 2012, £138 billion of the £692 billion tourism “spend” worldwide came from young travellers. The rise in youth spending vastly outstripped that of other international travellers whose spending increased by just three percent over the same period.

The report also reveals the way youth travellers use technology to communicate and book their travels is rapidly evolving and having a major impact on the industry which is having to evolve to meet travellers increasing and varied requirements.

David Chapman, WYSE Travel Confederation Director General said, “Our research shows that the nature of youth travel has changed enormously in the past decade. Young travellers today want, more than ever, to enrich themselves with cultural experiences, to meet local people and to improve their employability when they return home.

”With young people travelling further, staying away for longer, spending more, keeping in touch more and integrating with overseas communities on a scale not seen before, the industry is becoming far broader than ever before.”

“The research provides an invaluable insight into this ever expanding market and will be a valuable resource for organisations to help understand their market and adapt to meet their needs.”

WYSE Travel Confederation members have free access to the New Horizons report. They can obtain their copy by contacting the Confederation here. Non members can purchase the report online here.

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Notes to Editors:

About WYSE Travel Confederation Research and New Horizons III:

WYSE Travel Confederation is committed to understanding the ever changing characteristics, motivations and needs of young travellers. WYSE Travel Confederation gathers, analyses and shares important research data and market intelligence with their members, academics, corporate and government decision-makers, and the general travelling public.

WYSE Travel Confederation’s investment in research and market intelligence informs the policies, services and products which make international travel and educational experiences exciting, safe, accessible and affordable for young people.

New Horizon III is the latest update in a benchmark study conducted in 2002 and 2007 which identifies the motivations and unique travel characteristics of the millions strong global movement of young travellers.

The unique study is the largest ever of its kind undertaken, surveying over 34,000 respondents from 137 countries.

About World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation:

The World Youth, Student and Educational Travel Confederation is a global non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting and developing opportunities for the youth, student and educational travel industry. WYSE Travel Confederation and its Sector Associations include over 800 members in 106 countries.

WYSE Travel Confederation provides specialist industry support to these organisations through their membership with WYSE Travel Confederation and/or its Sector Associations. Additionally, the Confederation provides expert advice and information to international bodies such as UNWTO UNESCO, UNAOC and the European Commission, on the youth, student and educational travel sector.

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