Select Page
WYSE Travel Confederation
WYSE Travel Confederation calls on governments to support youth, student and educational travel organisations
WYSE News | May 4, 2020

Travel and tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world. It supports jobs. A lot of them. Everywhere. Actually, about 320 million jobs worldwide[1].

Travel and tourism has a proven track record of bringing economic livelihood to places where few other employment opportunities exist, yet its reach goes further than money.

It has always been important for governments to support travel and tourism- a “no-brainer” you might have said pre-Coronavirus. Now, in the face of a global crisis of proportions never fathomed by any of us, government support is crucial. Imperative. A matter of life and death, you might even say.

Findings from WYSE Travel Confederation’s COVID-19 Travel Business Impact Survey indicate that travel and tourism businesses experienced a 60% drop in business in Q1 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Looking ahead to the rest of 2020, respondents expect things to remain the same, with an average 60% drop in business (year on year) anticipated for 2020 overall. UNWTO has arrived at similar estimations for a drop in international travel over the course of 2020. Based on WYSE Travel Confederation’s findings, the estimated decline in international tourism receipts for the youth travel industry would equate to 174 billion euros in 2020.[2]

Twenty-three percent of the world’s international arrivals are young travellers under the age of 30. They are holidaymakers, but they are also international students, au pairs, interns and volunteers abroad, overseas teachers, immersive language learners, backpackers, flashpackers, digital nomads and a lot in between. As the global representative body for the wide range of travel organisations facilitating some 30 million annual international trips for youth travellers, WYSE Travel Confederation is currently both concerned and optimistic about the future of travel and tourism for young travellers and the travel businesses that serve them.

Travel and tourism was an industry growing faster than global GDP. In 2019, the youth travel segment generated tourism receipts for destinations worth approximately USD 330 billion. The extent of travel’s economic and social reach is becoming painfully clear due to the current health-related restrictions on the movement of people across borders near and far.

Government aid is needed to support travel and tourism now and into the near future.

Travel and tourism supports many other industries and structures, including suppliers of many services and products. Travel enables people to explore the world and to make connections in other countries that go further than money. The international cultural understanding that has developed from travel has helped to keep most of the world at peace for 75 years.

Young travellers have been instrumental in fostering international peace through cultural exchange since 1949. The decades of knowledge accumulated by WYSE Travel Confederation point to the crucial social and economic role that young visitors play in tourism. Our research has consistently indicated that young travellers[3]:

  • Stay longer and spend more than average tourists
  • Attract visiting family and friends to a destination
  • Support local businesses by spending with unique and independent providers of accommodation, hospitality, retail goods, and services
  • Book tours and activities that provide ‘local’ experience and knowledge of a destination.

Young travellers represent life-time value to destinations through word-of-mouth and return visits later in life. These characteristics represent powerful potential for social and economic recovery for tourism destinations – ones that government and other travel and tourism industry stakeholders should not overlook.

 WYSE Travel Confederation is calling on governments to take actions to support the youth, student and educational travel and tourism sector with our 10-Point Youth Travel Recovery Plan:

  1. Offer easily accessible short- and medium-term credit facilities to help SMEs in the sector with liquidity.
  2. Implement income protection schemes for both employees and the self-employed within the sector.
  3. Extend furlough schemes for the sector beyond ‘lockdown’ periods.
  4. Provide mortgage and rent protection for business premises and protect these organisations from eviction.
  5. Offer business tax deferments to businesses in the sector.
  6. Reduce tourism taxes for the sector.
  7. Re-start the issuing of specialist youth travel visas for future travel.
  8. Coordination between national governments for future travel.
  9. Provide the sector with clarity surrounding the re-opening of travel, both domestically and internationally.
  10. Direct destination marketing spend towards growth in international export of youth travel product.

Again, WYSE Travel Confederation is calling on governments to support the youth, student and educational travel and tourism sector with the financial investments and policies needed to keep hundreds of millions of individuals employed, local economies functioning and people- young and old- travelling and learning about the world.

Once COVID-19 is under control, the free movement of people and travel must become just as valuable as the financial figures that governments invest. Travel and tourism is something we should all support knowing that it will repay us all in peace and prosperity.

For further background information please consult the WYSE Travel Confederation research section and in particular the COVID-19 resources on our website.

David Chapman
Director General
WYSE Travel Confederation


NameJob titleOrganisation
Russel HedgePresident and CEOHostelling International USA
John Cedergårdh CEOSTS Education
Nick PoundCo-FounderWorld Nomads
Carye DuffinVice President, External RelationsCIEE
Pieter van der ZeeuwManaging DirectorHans Brinker Hostels
Patricia BrunnerManaging DirectorInternational Au Pair Association
Andrew ProcterManaging DirectorAfrican Impact
Alex ThompsonCEOLegaroo Inc
Joël MarierVice-PresidentEBI Consulting Group
Charles-Etienne BélangerDirectorInternational Social Tourism Organisation
David DahlPresidentWISE Foundation
Barry HarzevoortDirectorActivity International
Claudia ReichsteinHead of International ProgramsDR-WALTER
Fabio CoppolaCVOYellowSquare
Marina OnacaPresidentWorld Wide Cultural Exchange, Inc.
Katrina VanderhulstExecutive Vice President
Au Pair International
Marivi GraciaCEOTJT
Felipe BerdouCEOWay Hostel Madrid
Nick SteiertCEOInvasion
Alison PoldenLanguage School Event Co-ordinatorUniversity of Kent
Janine WegmanDirectorActivity International
Ronaldo Da SilvaCEOBritannia Student Services
Etienne MatichardDirector of Sales & DistributionAccor SA
Louise GarnerCommercial DirectorClink Hostels
Murray RobertsManaging Director
St Christophers Inns
Nuno ConstantinoCEOHostels Hub
Miguel Cruz Santos
OwnerLisboa Central Hostel
Diogo CandeiasManagerYes Hostels
Colin ForkerOwnerReload Partners
Rui Magro CorreiaPresidentPortugal's Hostels Association
Bastian WeinbergerCEOSmaller Earth
Alex SeigelDirectorThe Dragon Trip
John RicciGroup Managing DirectorJ1 Sims
Jeffrey LabandCEOCICD
Barry RawlingsDirectorEDU Africa
Manny Soar
Andy BarnettHead of Sales & Network DevelopmentYHA England and Wales
Colin FaheyFoundercampusSIMs
Jose VeigaCEOExpresso Viagens
Wendy MulliganOperations ManagerOndago by ISX
Craig WhitneyManaging DirectorCHE Intercultural Exchange Ltd
Martin CorrManaging DirectorThe Ardmore Group
Randy LeGrantPresidentAcademic Language Solutions
Mikko KoistinenChairmanTimetravels Ltd
Ninad SharmaCEOIdex Volunteer and Travel
Inge HolzmannCEOAustrian Youth Hostel Association
Lucia Viudes Botella
Nicoleta-Daniela CiobanuManaging DirectorCND Management Solutions SRL
Robin IngleCEOMSH, Ingle International
Sophie HerbertMarketing and Sales DirectorBeds and Bars
Philip Cabra NethertonManaging DirectorEuroventure
Michele Martinez
Vice President of OperationsWWCE
Saurabh SabharwalCEOVolunteering Solutions
Alex MitroiOperations DirectorAmerican Experience
Stephen Keenan
DirectorSaffron Travel
Andries BonneurCEOStage-Global
Sahil SabharwalCOOVolunteering Solutions
Alastair Thomann
CEOGenerator / Freehand Hotels
Tony EvansDirectorExperio Life
Marie Claude SalibaGeneral ManagerEducom Overseas
James BellCOOAlliance Abroad Group
Rick CarassaiProduct DirectorBamba Experience
Neil DuffyA.V.PSprintax
Marijke Schreiner
Valentina CihereanSenior Sourcing and Contract ManagerEF Cultural Tours GmbH
Elena ShabalovskayaGeneral ManagerKazakhstan Council for Educational Travel
Kelley BurrisPresidentInternational Recruitment Exchange Services, Inc.
Frank HoerlManaging DirectorHBI Alexanderplatz Hotel Operations GmbH
Montse FarresOperations ManagerBracap Global Tours
Karen PaschallProgram ManagerThe Foundation for Worldwide International Student Exchange
Heather MacLarenManaging DirectorGeoVisions
Callum KennedyDirectorKMCL
Chiara Francesca Lops
Educational AdvisorWEP Italy
Jordan PayneDirector of MarketingInterExchange
Natalie BroomfieldCEOThe Working Holiday Club
Paul SarfatiCEOBamba Experience
Kimberly CarterExecutive Director
Council of Educational Travel
Stephen SimasSenior Account ManagerInterExchange
Lara FarreNew Sales DirectorSelina
Kevin BergotOperations DirectorSmart Hostels
Sabina CoxSales & Marketing DirectorDelphi Resort
Laura RoseCEOGreenheart International
Jennifer WoodbridgeRegional Director
Marc Oliver SchneiderCEOPractiGo GmbH
Zydrunas Janusauskas
Co-partnerRT Tax
Anne DolanCo-founderClink Hostels
Michael MassinghamFounder/DirectorEDU Africa
Rogerio CardosoPartnerPumpkintreasure Lda
Franz Burghoff
Revenue Director
St Christopher's Inns
Kai Peter Weers
CEOPasantias Argentinas
Vanessa Noel
VP of Strategic Development
Alliance Abroad Group
Diego Lopez Liza
Director of Operations
Let´s Live USA
Julius Kalnietis
Program Director
Global Horizons USA
Pawel Fabisiak
Matthew Buczek
CEOInternational Exchange of North America
Bernard Fauville
CEOLes Auberges des Jeunesse - Belgium
Felipe de la Torre
Executive Presidente
Latin Roots Travel Co.
Massimo Galimi
Roma Scout Center
Beth Hamilton
CEOGlobal Secutive LLC
Lucía Zenatti
Director of International Programs and Partner Services
Argentina Cultural Exchange
Corey Kirkham
Managing DirectorMoose Run Adventures
David Knezevic
General Manager
NVO Mladi Putnik
Phillip Winter
CMOa&o Hostels
Oxana Odainic
Executive Director
Center For American Exchange Programs
Debra Martin
Executive Director
Dynamic Global Exchange
Chris Stakich
PresidentRustic Pathways
Greg Thomson
CEOProjects Abroad
Justine Trembicki
Felipe Correa-Jaramillo
CEOEnvoys Inc
Wesley Maraire
Business Development Executive
Tiritose Sustainable Travel
Ellen Hoggard
STS Foundation
Nicola Foley
Celtic Group Hostels
Kevin Morgan
ChairmanGeoVisions Foundation
Stefania Bresquar
DirectorGEO International
Chris Morisseau
Ryan Ludden
Associate Vice President
Wei Soong Wong
Director of Operations
Infinity Abroad
Alejandro Osorio
Development Director
Viajero Hostels
Amy Hamilton
Sales Manager
The Learning Adventure
Nicole Roodenburg
Sales Manager
Ecoleviajes Ecuador S.A.
Ken Campbell
General Manager
Hostelling International - Banff Alpine Centre
Roger Charles
EBI Consulting
Marco Coppola
Carsten Herold
CEO and OwnerHEROLÉ-Reisen GmbH
Wolfgang Graser
Good Hope Studies / Good Hope Volunteers
Favian Cheng
Managing Partner
Infinity Abroad
Kevin Watson
Program Director
Denis Smorchkov
Director General
TravelWorks Group
Catherin Quirin
ManagerSwiss Hostels
Anne Meijers
Program Director
Travel Active
Isabelle Boyer
Deputy Executive Director
HI Canada
Jane Paterson
Director of Lodging
RED Mountain Resort Lodging
Amit Sondhi
Founder & Managing Director
Emma English
Executive DirectorBritish Educational Travel Association (BETA)
Alain Maboge
Finance Director
WEP International
Federico Scotti
Operation Manager
Ostello Bello SPA
Seth Leighton
Gavin Eyre
ChairpersonSouth African Youth Travel Confederation
Eric Fontanabianca
Business Development ManagerAstor Hostels
Julian Lawman
Head of Global Contracting
STA Travel
Kamilla Silina
Operations and Project manager
Cultural Homestay International
Joaquim Boadas de Quintana
Secretary General
International Nightlife Association
Aleida Vereschildt
CEOEcoleviajes Ecuador SA
Marque Haupert
Director of Student Services
United Studies, Inc. Student Exchange
Marcie Schneider
CEOIntrax inc.
Michael Weiss
Jason Wong
General ManagerHI Calgary City Centre
Simon Jacobs
General ManagerAuberge Internationale de Québec
Alistair McLean
CEOHostelling International Canada
Chris Treloggen
Managing Director
Contiki Holidays
Ryan MurfittGeneral ManagerHI Whistler
Jim PellegriniPresidentCentral Overseas Education Services Ltd - Canada
Lewis KellyGeneral ManagerHostelling International Jasper
Thomas AretonExecutive Director, Co-founderCultural Homestay International
Vivian FearenPresident and CEOAspect Foundation
Michele ForchiniCOOArkè Hostels - Ostelli in Italia
Libby LawDirectorSWAP Working Holidays
Peter JonesPresidentACIS
Shane PizzarielloDirectorHI Canada Atlantic Region
José Antonio Martínez BeltránCFOBracap Global Tour
William J GustafsonPresidentASSE International Student Exchange Programs
Uwe RegenbogenCFOAuPairWorld
Ellen WeijandentrepreneurTravel Inventive
Desmond TibbyCommunity Outreach CoordinatorHI Toronto
Claudia ArandaCEOAu Pair Gloobal
Travis PittmanCEOTourRadar
Kasey SimonPresident and ROUnited Work and Travel
Ann-Kristin CohrsManaging DirectorAuPairWorld
Brian WestwoodGM Marketing and SalesYHA New Zealand
Arian CruzProduct coordinatorISIC
Daniel PainterMDNavigate Travel
Jack BowcottCEOGoki
Sara LandriscinaDirectorInternational Experience
Tiffany ZarrinDirector of OperationsInternational Trainee Network
George FinnOwner's Rep., General managerHI NYC
Micki LalondeDirector of Academic ProgramsCultural Homestay International
Ilse KetelsenCo-ownerHI Rossburn - 9 Finger Ranch
Henri ParkinHostel ManagerTrue North Hostelling
Thomas ChudleyGeneral ManagerInvasion Camp Group Ltd
Paul McGrathCEOYHA Australia
Daniel BunningCEOBase and Nomads Hostels
Elodie MorvanActing ManagerHostelling International Canada
Alexey SilinOperations ManagerCultural Homestay International
Joanna BurnetDirectorAustralian Working Adventures / Visitoz
Leslie ZulaufDirectorISX Canada
Wendi AylwardManaging DirectorAmerican Institute for Foreign Study (Australia) Pty Ltd
David GendleGeneral Manager Global SalesTopdeck Travel
Albert LeeExecutive DirectorInternational Education exchange
Ramchand DuhlanomalChief ExecutiveMSL Travel Sdn Bhd
Earl MorganDirectorOverseas Work and Travel
Adrian MaarschalkEast Africa DirectorEDU Africa
Ramsay KerrDirectorThe Dragon Trip
Saskia WohlgemuthTravel Services ManagerYHA New Zealand
Michael RobergeCEORMC | RM Consulting (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Gal MorCo-founderAbraham Hostels and Tours
Pankaj ParwandaDirectorgoStops
John PastorManagerSydney Urban Adventures
Alisa BalevaDirector of OperationsUTP Beyond Borders
Egidijus BudreviciusPresidentZIP Travel
Aaron BlackCEOZip Travel Philippines
Didier DestexjeCo-founder, DirectorWEP International
Josep Abadsales managerTEMPS D'OCI INCOMING
Roi PoratManaging DirectorAuthentic Israel
Jeanette Staunstrup ChristensenPartnerAlfA Travel
Rhian BeatonHead of RevenueClink Hostels
Ruth FranklinCo FounderSecret Paradise Maldives
Juan Pablo MorenoFinancial DirectorSHE Herencia
Oliver WinterCEOa&o Hostels
Leonardo ResendeSales UK / BeneluxMEININGER hotels
Fran BrandiEvent Sales ManagerEvent Exeter
Katharine MillarSales CoordinatorEvent Exeter
Judith ZeilstraSales & Marketing ManagerHans Brinker Hostel
Jay ClarkHead of OperationsBusabout
Sheena ButterworthConference ManagerUniversity of Kent
Elena PlekhanovaDirectorInterSTUDY
Nicoletta BattistiniSales ManagerMeininger Hotels
Oliver LewisFounderCheapSleep Helsinki
Naomi CullenGroups ManagerAbbey Court Hostel
Donal McKennaDirectorInterrailingpackages Ltd
Douglas PlattPresidentBlueStripe
Luis Jose Ferreiro Moreno
DirectorJuventud y Cultura
Martijn van de Veen
Vice President, Business Development
Bobur Hakimiy
CEOiWay - Consulting
Charl Ackermann
Marketing Director
EDU Africa
Scarlett Kavanagh Dowsett
Regional General Manager
Student Discount Cards Ltd
Joan Lott Carlsen
DirectorALOTT A/S
Lorena Smigielska
CEOAdvanced Global Skills
Cathriona Gibbons
Hostel Sales Manager
Wild Atlantic Hostel @ Delphi Resort
Johan Scholtz
Managing Director
WTSA Volunteering
Francis Altena
Head of International Relations
The Green Lion
Joaquim Capdevila
Managing Director
Bracap Global Tours
Gregory Bakunzi
CEORed Rocks Intercultural Centre
Rebecca Skevaki
CEOAthens Urban Adventures
Kristina Oehler
CEOruf Jugendreisen
Marina Shishko
Program Director
ALT Experience Russia
Kim Roques
Founder & Director
All Out Africa
Thomas McArdle
Managing Director
Carlingford Adventure
Lauren Hammond
Contracts Executive
Euroventure Travel
Tarun Dara
CEOThe Explorers Lab
Istvan Beke Szabo
Student Travel
Alessandro Martello
COOAnda Venice Hostel
Andreas Kappeler
OwnerNyon Hostel SA
Markus Mueller
COOPraktikawelten GmbH
Sakan Begalinov
Opportunity Language School
Aleksandar Manojlovski
General Manager
ZIP Travel Macedonia
Entela Maybrook
Executive Director
Emma Willis
Business Development ManagerWarwick Conferences, University of Warwick
Melissa Torres
President and CEO
The Forum on Education Abroad
Olivier Joris
CEO and co-founderWEP International
Lorenzo AgatiCEOWEP
David ScottOwnerReggae Hostel
David BuehlerManaging DirectorBackpackers Villa Sonnenhof, Interlaken
Mariluz AlvarezDirectorBarcelona Pere Tarrés Youth Hostel
Juan José Ruiz TalaeroCo-Founder/Co-DirectorHispania, escuela de español
Eva sabaterManaging DirectorTravel Work
Darya ModestovaDirectorGlobal Friends
Lauren GrovesGeneral ManagerGROUND Asia
Anne-Françoise Gloria-TiegnonReservations managerFIAP
Ninfa GomezDirectorInternational Experience
Heike FischerManaging DirectorAuPairWorld GmbH
Jamie PreiraInternational Programs ManagerIntercultural Outreach Initiative
Eric van DijkHead of HotelsMEININGER Hotels
Sam BadansManagerSydney Central YHA
Casey HaniskoPresidentAdventure Travel Trade Association
Jeff SassevilleWilderness Hostel ManagerHostelling International
Pranas BruzgaDirector / CEOLithuanian World Center for Work Experience and Studies Abroad
Yami GongProgram DirectorChina Service Center for Educational Exchange
Daniel NicolsonDirectorCleversteam
Dave O'MalleyBusiness Development ManagerWorld Nomads
Thomas HagemannChief Operating OfficerMEININGER Hotels
Moti ErdeapelSenior BDMKlook Technology Travel BV
Melanie LathamHead of SalesSelina
Andrew RossSales ManagerCarlingford Adventure Centre
Mark MaasdamCEOTravel Active | Educational Exchange
Erion KosovrastiCEOTandek
Liesbeth ten DonkelaarHead of marketing & salesStayokay
Jacky ChiuDirector & GMHong Kong Student Travel
Sophie BagheriBusiness Development ManagerOnce Travel
Ulises OrtegaPresidentMundo Joven Travel Shop
Francis StivalaManaging DirectorNational Student Travel Foundation
Karmini NaidooOperations DirectorYouth Discovery Programs
Evgenia JenkinsCEONetizen Group
Christopher PattersonChief / FounderJakera SRL
Boris Samaryanov General DirectorSTAR TRAVEL
Rebecca Paki-Newport Vice President - OperationsThe Air Travel Group
David O'KellyCEOSANDEMANs NEW Europe
Samet Karaman
Marketing Manager
Sprachcaffe Languages Plus
Roland Thorne Co-FounderAll Out Africa
Yaron BurginCEO Abraham Hostels & Tours
Naama Goldman-Shwartz
General ManagerJuha's Guetshouse
Markus Badde
Emanuel Kuntzelman
Greenheart International
Steven Mitrevski
General Manager
Ultimate Adventure Travel
Marianna Varga-JakóDOSMModern Hostel Property Kft
Przemyslaw WojciechowskiVicePresidentAlmatur Association
Jonathan GilbenDirector and Co-founderGoEco
Simon GroutPartnerships ManagerBusabout
Guillaume MoussetMarketing DirectorFIAP
Dionne BultmanProgram Manager Au PairTravel Active
Reinhard BellinghausenManaging PartnerDR-WALTER GmbH
Diana FrattiniHead of marketingWEP
Darren BarkerCEOHostelling International
Federica NicolosiGroup Department CoordinatorWEP
Pieter Bas van LitsenburgRegional ManagerMEININGER Hotels
Yolanda SalcedoManaging DirectorArgentina Cultural Exchange
Percy RaygadaDirectorINTEJ
Suzanne ContentDirector of SalesStromma Netherlands
Matthew EastChairmanInternational Student Identity Card (ISIC) Association
Francois Leclerc
VP Brand & Operations
Boris MucheCEOWombat's City Hostels
James ThorntonCEOIntrepid Travel
Marco GeraciCEOFree Hostels
Marco Peralta
ManagerTimbuktu Hostel
Marta Herrero
CMOCats Hostels
Vicki Cunningham
Robyn Walker
Executive Director
Sebastien Leitner
VP PartnershipsCloudbeds
Lize van der Merwe
COOHLP Travel Solutions