WYSE Travel Confederation calls on governments to support international travel businesses
Government support for the travel industry is urgently needed as we move into a third year of restricted movement related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that have managed to stay afloat are still struggling, particularly those that cater to international travellers. Frequently changing regulations, supply chain disruptions, labour shortages and the resulting reduced capacity and service levels are eroding consumer confidence and businesses that rely on tourism. Financial support is needed if businesses are to make it through a new wave of COVID-19 precautions related to virus mutations that have increased the level of risk to public health.
WYSE Travel Confederation is not only concerned about maintaining the capacity of international travel businesses, but also gravely concerned about the future that young people will come to expect as a result of the pandemic. As the global association of travel organisations that facilitate safe, fun and educational international trips for young people across the world, we know that twenty-three percent of the world’s international arrivals were young travellers under the age of 30, pre-COVID-19. These young travellers were studying abroad, au pairing, interning, volunteering, teaching, learning a foreign language, backpacking, and gap-yearing. In other words, life-changing educational travel pursuits.
International travel not only benefits young travellers themselves, but the people and places they visit and the businesses and services they utilise along the way. The under-30 international travel segment generated tourism receipts for destinations worth approximately USD 330 billion in 2019. The absence of travel’s significant economic reach has become clear during the pandemic. Travel and tourism generate economic and cultural livelihood for people and places just as people and places with cultural energy attract visitors.
WYSE Travel Confederation once again calls on governments to support travel and tourism businesses based on our Ten-Point Youth Travel Recovery Plan, originally published in May 2020.
- Offer easily accessible short- and medium-term credit facilities to help SMEs in the sector with liquidity.
- Implement income protection schemes for both employees and the self-employed within the sector.
- Extend furlough schemes for the sector beyond ‘lockdown’ periods.
- Provide mortgage and rent protection for business premises and protect these organisations from eviction.
- Offer business tax deferments to businesses in the sector.
- Reduce tourism taxes for the sector.
- Re-start the issuing of specialist youth travel visas for future travel.
- Coordination between national governments for future travel.
- Provide the sector with clarity surrounding the re-opening of travel, both domestically and internationally.
- Direct destination marketing spend towards growth in international export of youth travel product.
Progress has been made on action points 7, 8 and 9 to varying degrees in certain regions of the world. These actions have facilitated responsible routes of entry for students and other young visitors with educational and other special-interest visas. However, actions points related to financial assistance for businesses have been phased out – or worse yet, never even offered to SMEs.
Again, WYSE Travel Confederation calls on governments to take the actions outlined in the Ten-Point Plan in order to support youth, student and educational travel and tourism businesses.
Young people have been instrumental in fostering international peace through travel and cultural exchange since 1949. WYSE Travel Confederation’s research over the years suggests that young people contribute to the social and economic power of international because they tend to :
- 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.
We have said it many times before and will continue to remind: young travellers, and the businesses that facilitate the unique educational experiences they pursue, represent life-time value to destinations and powerful potential for social and economic recovery for international travel and tourism.
To learn more about international youth, student and educational travel, contact us or visit our website www.wysetc.org for free and tailored resources for your business or destination.
WYSE Travel Confederation
|Russell Hedge||President and CEO||Hostelling International USA|
|Pieter Van der Zeeuw||Managing Director||Hans Brinker Hostels|
|Casey Slamin||Senior Vice President||InterExchange|
|Patricia Brunner||International Au Pair Association (IAPA)||Managing Director|
|Dave Dahl||President||WISE Foundation|
|Victoria Cunningham||CEO||BUNAC & USIT|
|Andries Bonneur||CEO||Stage Global|
|Guillaume Mousset||Marketing Director||FUAJ / HI France|
|Beth Hamilton||CEO||Global Secutive|
|Matthew Buczek||CEO||International Exchange of North America|
|Mike Hart||Technical Director||Cleversteam|
|Milos Milenkovic||Board Member||GPA|
|William Gustafson||President||ASSE International Student Exchange Programs|
|Melissa Torres||President & CEO||The Forum on Education Abroad|
|Tasha Hayes||European Operations Director||Contiki|
|Scott Curry||Director||International Exchange of North America|
|Zydrunas Janusauskas||CEO||RT Tax|
|Andreas Kappeler||Owner / Manager||Nyon Hostel SA|
|Doros Theodorou||CCO||Freehand Hotels|
|Janet Henniker-Talle||Senior Vice President, Camp America||Camp America / AIFS|
|Daniel Ebert||President||Greenheart International|
|Marcel Pleister||Managing Partner||WALDEMAR GmbH|
|Murray Roberts||Managing Director||St Christopher's Inns|
|Louise Garner||Commercial Director||Clink Hostels|
|Stojan Lazic||Director||Karavan Travel Doo|
|Iza Gyuricza||COO||Smaller Earth Group|
|Marcie Schneider||President||Intrax Inc.|
|Grant Millar||Membership Manager||HI Canada|
|William Gustafson||President & CEO||ASSE International|
|Randy LeGrant||President||iTEP - Academic Language Solutions|
|Tom Areton||Executive Director||Cultural Homestay International (CHI)|
|Carye Duffin||VP, External Relations||CIEE|
|Anne Dolan||Co-founder||Clink Hostels|
|Yaron Burgin||Co-founder||Abraham Hostels & Tours|
|Pablo Ulises Ortega||President||Mundo Joven Travel Shop|
|Jessica Garcia||PA||Mundo Joven Travel Shop|
|Audrius Memenas||Owner||RT Tax|
|Joanna Burnet||Director||Visitoz / Australian Working Adventures|
|Mike LeGault||Managing Director||Moose Travel|
|Inese Egle||Head of Contracting||HEROLÉ Reisen GmbH|
|Brianda Lopez||CEO||Hostelling International|
|Etienne Matichard||Commercial Director||JO&JOE|
|Gordana Stamenic||Managing Director||Karavan Travel|
|Callum Kennedy||Industry Consultant||KMCL Consultants|
|Philip Cabra Netherton||Managing Director||Euroventure Travel|
|Claudia Reichstein||Head of International Programs||DR-WALTER|
|Carsten Herold||Owner||HEROLE-Reisen GmbH|
|Saygin Ozman||Director||Ozman International Education|
|Emma English||Executive Director||BETA|
|Leonardo Resende||Sales UK / Benelux||MEININGER Hotels|
|Adrienne Barile||Human Resources Director||High Sierra Pools|
|Darya Modestova||CEO||Global Friends|
|Mark Maasdam||CEO||Travel Active|
|David Buehler||General Manager||Backpackers Villa Interlaken|
|Darryl Newby||Co-founder||Welcome to Travel|
|Ann-Kristin Cohrs||Managing Director||AuPairWorld|
|Enrique León Collados||Managing Director||Aston Herencia|
|Markus Müller||COO||Praktikawelten GmbH|
|Uri Sharon||Commercial Director||Abraham Hostels & Tours|
|Jeremy Henry||Director||Information Planet Belgium|
|Nick Pound||Co-founder & Strategic Partnerships||World Nomads|
|Adam Janaway||Head of Operations||BUNAC|
|Anthony Mercer||CFO||BUNAC & USIT|
|Sheelagh Daly||Head of Operations & Purpose||USIT|
|James Bell||CEO||Alliance Strategies|
|Max Ortega||Deputy Director||Mundo Joven|
|Wolfgang Graser||Director||Good Hope Studies / Volunteers|
|Jennifer Woodbridge||Regional Director||Alliance Abroad Group - Australia|
|Natalia de Isidoro||Director||Alliance Abroad Spain - Yowork|
|Martin Churchill||Head of Product & Commercial||USIT|
|Klara Vostinakova||Key Account / E-commerce Manager||Wombat's City Hostels|
|Tobias Timmerer||Revenue Manager||Wombat's City Hostels|
|Sascha Dimitriewicz||CEO||Wombat's City Hostels|
|Carolin Paarmann||Managing Director||Wombat's City Hostels|
|Raphaela Bock||CFO Assistant||Wombat's City Hostels|
|Goran Rakonjac||Senior Event Manager||Cloudbeds|
|Pranas Bruzga||Director||Lithuanian World Center for Work Experience and Studies Abroad|
|Tim Renz||General Manager||Wombat's City Hostels|
|Paula Boanca||Accounting||Wombat's City Hostels|
|Kristian Webber||Head of Business Development||BUNAC & USIT|
|Valerie Lecamus||International Programs Manager||CICD|
|Ali Al Shalabi||Executive Manager||Cosmopolitan WWE|
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