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Manchester, United Kingdom — 22-25 September 2009

WYSE Archives

Travel + x = Happiness and other early insights from New Horizons

Sep 20, 2017

Which cities are highly rated by young travellers when it comes to friendliness or overall value? What are the biggest obstacles for youth in need of a visa for travel? WYSTC 2017 delegates will be able to find out during a preview of findings from New Horizons 4, the only recurring global survey of the youth and student travel market.

During this special WYSTC workshop Professor Greg Richards will point out some of the trends that have evolved over the four iterations

of WYSE Travel Confederation’s New Horizons survey. In addition to the who, how, where, and what of youth travel behaviour, Greg Richards will discuss preliminary findings related to several new questions included in the survey. These questions ask young travellers about what they last splurged on for a trip, what challenges they faced in obtaining a visa, how friendly they consider certain cities, and whether travel makes them happy.

“There is a lot of research on happiness in general, but a growing body of work on happiness and tourism specifically,” said Greg Richards. “Furthermore, there are very few studies examining youth and student travellers. Other studies have concluded that travel, largely holiday travel, temporarily boosts happiness. Where youth and students travel for reasons other than just holiday and on average tend to stay longer, it could be that we see different correlations. For example, the purpose of the trip or the even the type of accommodation used could affect one’s travel happiness – we may see that the social atmosphere of a hostel wins over the ‘local’ flavour of staying at an Airbnb.”

On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy did your last main trip make you feel?

Travel is not all grins and giggles even though Instagram would have us believe that is so. A growing challenge for both young travellers and the specialised travel industry that serves them is access to visas. WYSE Travel Confederation’s Millennial Traveller survey back in 2014 discovered that at least 12% of young travellers faced travel barriers related to visa regulations. Though 12% doesn’t sound like much, this represents an estimated 20 million youth trips per year. With this in mind, questions related to visas were added to the New Horizons 4 survey.

It is not surprising that international students and young people planning to do a working holiday require a visa in most countries. In fact, preliminary data suggest that understanding visa regulations and required documentation are not considered the most significant barriers for young travellers to obtain a visa to the destination of their choice.

“It is crucial that countries recognise the social potential that youth travel represents. WYSE Travel Confederation’s San Diego Declaration on Youth, Student and Educational Travel calls on countries to facilitate youth mobility with efficient and appropriate formalities,” remarked David Chapman, Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation.