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Culture and the importance of youth travel
Culture and the importance of youth travel
WYSE News | June 15, 2023

David Chapman, Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation spoke at the Bridging Cultures Through Travel Conference hosted by CultSense and ATLAS, David Chapman - Deputy General - WYSE Travel Confederationthe Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research, on Wednesday, 14 June. The conference brings together academics and professionals from across the world for two days of presentations and discussions revolving around culture, tourism and how travel can encourage cultural sensitivity. Bridging Cultures Through Travel: From Theory to Practice took place at Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Netherlands.

David Chapman represented the global community of youth travel specialists in his address, offering the audience a brief explanation of WYSE Travel Confederation’s history and its unique position at the intersection of community, research and commerce.

“We spend time educating the mainstream tourism industry about youth travel, asking them to think differently about young people and travel,” said David Chapman. “Young travellers are not just tomorrow’s luxury travellers for the travel industry – they are today’s travellers, interested in developing themselves through travel experiences that respect the environment, wildlife and humans alike.”

CultSenseCultSense is a European project that aims to address the issues of increased mobility pressures, and tensions and conflicts between locals and travellers through development of specialised educational approaches to developing understanding attitudes towards other cultures.WYSE Travel Confederation is an Associate partner in the CultSense project, along with six European universities and ATLAS.

Culture was at the heart of conference presentations and discussions, along with tourism topics such as gastronomy, wildlife, global competencies cultural appropriation and cultural commodification.

Listeners expressed interest in youth travel experiences, asking David Chapman after his presentation if young people were interested in gastronomy while travelling and how travel experiences differ for younger vs older young people. The answers? WYSE Travel Confederation’s New Horizons IV survey in 2017 discovered that food & drink experiences were one of the top travel splurges for young people, along with events & festivals. Travel with family or school groups falls steeply after age 20, at which point more than 70% report travelling with friends or on their own – and there are now more ways than ever for young people to travel and experience what the world has to offer.

Interested in new trends and insights on youth travel? Get involved with WYSE Travel Confederation’s New Horizons 5 survey of global youth and student travel.