WYSE Travel Confederation’s community of youth and student travel specialists was represented by Director General David Chapman in this year’s Titans of Tourism panel discussion. Hosted by WYSE member WeTravel and moderated by Leisure Group Travel and Premier Travel Media, the Titans of Tourism webinar is an annual chance to hear leaders reflect on developments within the industry over the past year and share ideas about what is on the horizon for the coming year.
Jeffrey Gayduk, President of Premier Travel Media and Leisure Group Travel was joined by panellists Malia Asfour, Managing Director of the Jordan Tourism Board and Chair of the Board of Directors of Tourism Cares, Jaclyn Leibl-Cote, President and CEO of Collette Vacations, Shayna Zand, Director of Partnerships at WeTravel, and David Chapman of WYSE Travel Confederation.
Strong demand, increased spend and invigorated support for new destinations and sustainable travel were noted as some of the big trends seen over the course of 2023.
“What’s unique about the youth travel segment is that young people are persistent on getting out there,” explained David Chapman. “Youth travel is resilient.”
Malia Asfour of the Jordan Tourism Board described the success to date that Tourism Cares and destinations have had with their Meaningful Travel Map, which helps travellers to ‘spend money where it counts’.
Collette’s President and CEO Jaclyn Leibl-Cote remarked that booking behaviours are back in line with 2019 patterns and that travellers were more likely to opt for longer, more expensive trips and upgrades. She also noted the popularity of small group trips and a continued need to educate travellers about over-tourism.
WeTravel’s Shayna Zand shared a few nuggets from WeTravel’s forthcoming Travel Trends report and expressed enthusiasm about sustainable travel in 2024. Her advice for 2024? Be authentic – leverage the power of that authenticity. The importance of authenticity in tourism was echoed by David Chapman, particularly for younger travellers.
“Younger travellers are keen to consider new, not as busy destinations,” he said. “For the authentic, very local experiences.” His 2024 tip for the tourism industry at large? “Don’t overlook the value of youth travellers.”