Renewed focus on advocacy and trading events at WYSE Travel Confederation 2018 Annual General Meeting
An enthusiastic and energised group of members attended the WYSE Travel Confederation 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Sector Panel elections against the magical backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Edinburgh. Three new Sector Panel representatives were elected for the Cultural Exchange and Study Abroad Panels. Nick Steiert, Co-founder and CEO of Invasion, was elected to the Cultural Exchange Panel. John Ricci of J1 Simcards was elected to the Study Abroad Panel. John Cedergårdh, CEO of STS Education of Sweden, was elected as Chairperson of the Study Abroad Panel, replacing Manel Bassols of CETT Agora BCN.
In addition to the standard review and approval of accounts, budgets, and the status of membership, the 2018 AGM was very much focussed on the fine-tuning achieved within the organisation’s governance over the last several years and plans to further reinforce WYSE Travel Confederation’s existing strengths in trading events and research-based advocacy. David Chapman, Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation, highlighted the success of the recent New Horizons IV Survey report and the launch of two new trading events in 2019.
Member of the WYSE Travel Confederation Management Board, Russ Hedge of HI USA, explained to attending members the need to implement changes to the WYSE Travel Confederation mission statement that would more accurately reflect the role that WYSE Travel Confederation serves for its members. In addition, he invited members to partake in the development of a “Youth Travel Manifesto” that would update the outdated San Diego Declaration. The proposed Youth Travel Manifesto would not only aim to reiterate the value of the youth travel market, but also have value for each member as a tool for advocacy.
As Russ Hedge explained on behalf of the entire Management Board, “This probably wouldn’t be as important or frankly as much of an opportunity for members if we weren’t an organisation in the stage of growth that we are.” Achievements in member recruitment and research were indicators that WYSE Travel Confederation as a global organisation is ready to take the next step.
Regarding trading events, WYSE Travel Confederation will continue to bolster member trade opportunities by providing two new opportunities in 2019. Building on the success of the STAY WYSE Hostel Business Conference in Amsterdam, a new STAY WYSE Americas event was announced for November 2019 in Miami, Florida USA. Members working in the tours, activities, and attractions sector will benefit from a partnership with Arival and a new Arival Europe event to take place in Berlin, Germany in March 2019.
“It’s about continually building the community to expand our representation,” said David Chapman. “We are also in conversations about potential events in India and China and an updated format for the WYSE Exchange event.
Finally, there was much anticipation regarding the location for WYSTC 2019. After much suspense, Lisbon, Portugal was announced as the destination for the 28th and 29th World Youth and Student Conference. That’s right – Lisbon will be home base for WYSTC in 2019 and 2020
“It’s these new events that are going to give us strength”, explained David Chapman. “I don’t think I can overstate the importance of these new trading events; we see new buyers coming through these channels. I believe it will help us to build up regional representation if we place WYSTC in one location for a few years. It will also put us in a better negotiating position.”
The next Annual General Meeting of WYSE Travel Confederation will be held on 8, October 2019 at WYSTC 2019 in Lisbon.
The following members were confirmed to the Management Board and Sector Panels during the 2018 Annual General Meeting of WYSE Travel Confederation:
- Accommodation Sector Panel Chair: Pieter van der Zeeuw, Managing Director, Hans Brinker
- Cultural Exchange Sector Panel Chair: Carye Duffin, Senior Director, Council on International Educational Exchange
- Study Abroad Panel Chair: John Cedergårdh, STS Education
- Travel Safety Panel Chair: Jochen Ostermann, President, Global Secutive LLC
- Management Board Chair: Jason Merrithew, Merit Travel Group
- Management Board Member, Member At Large: Russ Hedge, HI USA
- Management Board Member, Finance & Audit Committee: David Dahl, WISE Foundation
- Management Board Member, Finance & Audit Committee: Astrid Ludemann, Independent