StudentUniverse’s overall departures have grown more than 30% year-over-year. Breaking down the growth in a few specific markets, Asia bookings were up 21%, Europe 66%, the South Pacific 23% and international flight bookings (international flights to/from the United States) were up 38% overall.
The growth in global bookings is due to improved international supplier relations and expanded air product (allowing students to book discounted travel to an increased number of international destinations) as well as co-marketing campaigns with airline partners featuring destinations to our student travelers. In 2016, StudentUniverse has announced new or expanded partnerships with a number of leading global carriers in both the US and the UK markets, including: TAP Portugal, WestJet, Turkish Airlines and Azul Airlines. 75 airlines now provide student fares through the StudentUniverse websites and mobile app.
According to Open Doors, the number of international students in the United States experienced the highest rate of growth in 35 years in the 2014/2015 academic year, up 10% to over one million international students in the US. With demand for international student travel on the rise, StudentUniverse is poised for continued growth.
“Our unique value proposition is better pricing and terms for students on flights and hotels. We are fortunate to have partners that understand the value of this segment and we are thrilled that breaking booking records means not only that we have a better and more relevant service than ever, but also that more students are having life-changing experiences as they explore the world,” said Atle Skalleberg, managing director, StudentUniverse. “It is a very exciting time in our story and we look forward to continuing to expand into new regions with new offerings.”
StudentUniverse continues to see significant growth in offerings beyond air travel as well. Hotel bookings by our student members were up 49% YoY.