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Hot youth destinationsWYSE Travel Confederation began the last trade day of ITB Berlin by taking to the big stage to reveal the hot youth destinations for the future.

As young people are travelling more and further afield than ever before, Western Europe was revealed as the top youth travel destination in 2013, accounting for 35% of the market. Europeans also made up more than half (52%) of young travellers. However, with the World Cup placing Brazil in the spotlight and big expansion plans in place, Rio de Janeiro was one city pinpointed as likely to be one of the major global hotspots over the coming years.

This wanderlust was echoed back on the stand when Professor Greg Richards discussed the world of adventure tourists. Professor Richards explained how UK travellers make up 19% of this market, followed by Germans at 12%, and that women are the most likely to choose this style of trip (71%). North America is currently proving the most popular travel destination for this market, followed by Australia, which sees a role reversal from research conducted in 2007.

WorkshopFinally, as the average adventure trip is around twice as long (120 days) as traditional youth trips, and with almost EUR1,500 more spent per sports and nature trip than on any other type, it seems that there’s benefits all round when it comes to taking a walk on the wild side.

Meanwhile, in the social media and the youth traveller workshop, Professor Richards discussed the impact this important communication tool is having on the youth travel industry. Emerging as the clear favourite, Facebook is reaching universal status with 90% of youth travel accommodation providers around the world using it.

Whichever way they communicate with their friends, one thing that WYSE Travel Confederation’s research makes clear is that social media is an increasingly used tool – both before and during their travels – and that it is a language that everyone involved in this dynamic sector would do well to become well versed in.

The presentations for all of WYSE Travel Confederation’s workshops at ITB Berlin will be made available to our members in due course.