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About

The World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation is a global not-for-profit membership organisation dedicated to promoting and developing opportunities for young travellers and the youth, student and educational travel industry that serves them.

Our global community is the world’s most powerful and extensive network of youth and student travel professionals, consisting of more than 600 members from 120 countries. Members of WYSE Travel Confederation are leaders in the unique types of travel products and services that young people utilise, including:

  • Adventure Tour Operators
  • Au Pair Agencies
  • Cultural Exchange Programmes
  • Hop-on, Hop-off Buses
  • Language Schools and Agents
  • Student Insurance, Flights and Identity Cards
  • Universities, International Education, and Study Abroad Programmes
  • Volunteer and Work Abroad Programmes
  • Youth Hostels and Online Booking Engines
  • Youth and Student Travel Retailers.

Tourism boards, official tourism organisations, national associations and a variety of travel industry service providers are also members of WYSE.

WYSE members collectively serve 30 million young travellers each year and are committed to understanding their travel motivations and needs and making travel experiences safe, accessible, affordable and life-changing. WYSE is a dynamic global network of travel professionals, industry representatives, policy influencers, government officials with the latest market intelligence to serve young travellers across the globe.

Recognising that youth travel is a vehicle for international exchange, peace and understanding, WYSE is an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and holds consultative status with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Our mission is: To contribute to the personal and professional growth of students and young people and positively impact our global community by fostering international understanding, responsible international travel, cultural exchange and education.

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What we do

WYSE is committed to understanding the ever-changing characteristics, motivations, and needs of young travellers. By gathering, analysing and sharing important market intelligence with members, academics and government decision-makers, satisfying the unique fast-changing needs of the youth market is at the forefront of our activities.

We work with our members, sector associations, tourism authorities and partners around the globe to:

  • Promote the personal, social, economic and cultural benefits of youth travel and international education
  • Support the development of student and youth travel specialists, and the critical role they play in this unique USD 280 billion market
  • Provide trading, networking and knowledge-sharing platforms
  • Develop innovative travel and educational products and services for youth and students, such as the International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
  • Deliver two essential trade conferences: World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) and Work Experience Travel Market (WETM-IAC)
  • Produce and distribute research and market intelligence to identify the unique needs and trends of today’s independent travellers
  • Provide best practice guidelines on products and policies
  • Represent our members at industry events worldwide

Our dedicated team of highly-skilled professionals based in our head office in Amsterdam work on a portfolio of key issues to accelerate the development of youth travel, and they always have our members best interests in mind.

Becoming a member is just the first step. Members of WYSE Travel Confederation can access a range of valuable services and products which help make youth travel exciting and affordable by joining our specialist sector associations.

The World Youth and Student Travel Conference

The World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) is the youth, student and educational industry’s essential global youth travel must-attend event.

Attending WYSTC is a must for anyone connected to the youth travel industry and interested in growing their business through trading with trusted partners and exchanging knowledge, experience and expertise. Visit www.wystc.org for more information.

Championing youth, student and educational travel for over 60 years

OLD Two

WYSE Travel Confederation was founded in 2006 through the merger of the Federation of International Youth Travel Organisations (FIYTO) and the International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC) in order to create a stronger united body to represent the global youth travel industry. WYSE Travel Confederation is therefore built on decades of experience and recognised as a long-standing and trusted global community.

ISTC (founded 1949) and FIYTO (founded 1950) were formed amidst post-war efforts to foster peace and cultural understanding through social tourism. The philosophy was that student travel, and the exchange of ideas it encourages, contributes positively to education and plays an important role in developing greater international understanding. FIYTO and ISTC advocated the special identity of student travellers and the need for affordable and specialised student travel services that enabled international youth mobility. The birth of youth travel and the vibrant industry that it has become today was spawned by these organisations and their mission to promote cultural understanding and world peace by inspiring young people to travel.

These aims remain just as vital and relevant today as young people equip themselves with the practical skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in today’s global political economy. Study, work experience and travel are all components of the educational and personal development of young people. A growing number of young people also want to help people and make practical contributions to the places that they visit.