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Social distancing equates to 66% drop in revenue for youth travel accommodation
WYSE News | July 17, 2020

Some providers of accommodation, tours, activities & attractions and youth travel programmes are back in operation with social distancing measures implemented and others are still anticipating the effects of distancing on their business. The July edition of WYSE Travel Confederation’s COVID-19 Travel Business Impact Survey[1] takes a look at how distancing measures are impacting capacity and revenue for hostels and other providers of youth travel accommodation in different destinations of the youth travel marketplace.

Impact of social distancing
In addition to the considerable decline in international arrivals, operators have the challenge of implementing social distancing within their properties and programming. For hostels and other providers of youth travel accommodation, the expected effect of social distancing, on average, is a reduction of 52% in capacity, translating into a 66% drop in revenue.


The effects of social distancing are likely to hit youth travel accommodation providers hardest in the world region of Oceania because of the large number of hostels with dorm-style accommodation there.


Youth travel accommodation capacity and revenue loss in top youth travel destinations
Accommodation operators indicated that they would suffer considerable reductions in capacity, and even greater falls in revenue because of social distancing. Based on the global average spend on accommodation per international youth trip of about EUR 600[2], the reduction in capacity and resulting loss in revenue due to social distancing would be significant in many leading youth travel destinations.


WYSE Travel Confederation and the COVID-19 Travel Business Impact Survey
If your business would benefit from unique business insights on the youth travel market, industry representation for common business interests and new trading opportunities with international partners, we invite you to discover the resources of the global trade association for businesses serving young travellers, WYSE Travel Confederation. Meet us at the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) Online 7 – 9 October 2020.

Next survey in the series
WYSE Travel Confederation will repeat the COVD-19 Travel Business Impact Survey in August 2020. As with past travel business crises that we have monitored, it is important for the industry to come together and take its collective temperature. Given that youth aged 15 to 29 represent 23% of international arrivals, all travel businesses, regardless of their focus on youth-tailored travel products, are welcome to participate in the survey.


May 2020 Travel Business Impact Survey:
Outlook worsens and financial aid is not the only investment governments should make to help travel and tourism
Increased focus on visa regulations and collaboration for youth travel to survive the COVID-19 crisis
Marketing youth travel in the shadow of global crisis

April 2020 Travel Business Impact Survey:
Q2 worse across the globe, but some source markets expecting better for the whole of 2020
Staff cuts, location closures and short survival periods
Satisfaction with COVID-19 cooperation, but placement availability concerns rise

March 2020 Travel Business Impact Survey:
Youth travel anticipating 30% decrease in business for 2020
Business outlook by youth travel sector 
Looking back in order to see ahead


[1]Data for this report were collected between 3 and 13 July 2020 by WYSE Travel Confederation, the global association for youth, student and educational travel organisations, via web-based questionnaire in English. The survey was the fourth in a series titled COVID-19 Travel Business Impact Survey. 
The fifth iteration of the survey attracted 370 responses from 70 countries. Three-hundred and fifty-five responses were retained for analysis. Respondents included organisations specialised in youth travel products as well as those representing mainstream travel products, members and non-members of the association. All respondents were asked about the impact that the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has had on their business in travel. Questions related to change in demand, outlook for 2020, main concerns and actions taken in response to COVID-19 have been repeated across surveys. New questions related to marketing, messaging to consumers, and business participation at large-scale B2B events were added to the fourth iteration of the survey. 
The profile of respondents to the fifth survey in July 2020 was similar to that of respondents of previous surveys, however there was a small increase in the proportion of language travel programmes and other services compared to previous months. Youth travel specialists, defined as those organisations with over half their main business in the youth market, consistently made up 60% or more of respondents between March and June though the youth travel focus is slowly declining over time.

[2]New Horizons IV: A global study of the youth and student traveller, WYSE Travel Confederation, 2017.