The ISTC’s mission is: “to increase international understanding through the promotion of travel and exchange opportunities among students, young people and the academic community.”
The International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC) is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1949 by the travel departments of a group of national student unions, to explore the needs of the growing numbers of student and youth travellers.
Thanks to ISTC, students, young people and teaching professionals have access to a global network of leading travel specialists, offering low priced flights, travel tickets, insurance, accommodation, work and study abroad programs as well as special deals on entertainment, sightseeing and shopping in countries all over the world.
ISTC Skills Exchange
At the beginning of 2011 ISTC initiated a Skills Exchange to use the expertise of our global community of youth travel professionals to help youth travel organisations in emerging and lesser developed countries to develop the student travel infrastructures, management systems, products and services that will help them to create commercially sustainable organisations.
Experienced professional staff from our community were placed with an organisation in the developing world to promote best practices and business development.
A Skills Exchange pilot project was suggested by STAY WYSE, the former sector association for youth travel accommodation. It involved a hostel-to-hostel partnership between a STAY WYSE member and a hostel in the developing world.
STAY WYSE contacted over 300 hostels in the developing world requesting their participation in the Skills Exchange Initiative. The interested parties were asked to complete an application form, describe the help they required and provide proof of registration. An estimated 10% of those contacted responded, of which one hostel, Rosy Guesthouse in Cambodia was selected to participate.
STAY WYSE put the requirements of Rosy Guesthouse to its membership and one of its members, umiHotels, offered to provide the skill sets required.
Mikael Hansson, CEO of Hostelling International and STAY WYSE Board Member, enthused, “I think this joint initiative is fantastic. It is great that by working together we are able to assist the industry in emerging markets and make those businesses feel part of the bigger community. By creating this joined-up thinking, it should stimulate these new markets, creating new members for the WYSE Travel Confederation and reinforcing its position as the global body for youth travel.”
ISTC Development Grant
Each year, ISTC makes a certain amount of money available for ISTC members to use to develop their businesses. The grant process is simple and each applicant must be prepared to co-fund the project by a minimum of 50%.
In 2015, grants were awarded to Almatur, GTS Alive, KILROY Netherlands, RDS Reisedienst Deutscher Studentenschaften and STIC Travels. The Board is delighted to see progress of these five projects.
In 2014, grants were awarded to ISIC Latvia and Hostelling International Chile. The Board is delighted to see the progress of these two projects.
If you are an ISTC member then you can apply for one of these grants. Grants are only available to ISTC members.