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Youth Travel Charter

Manchester, United Kingdom — 22-25 September 2009

WYSE Archives

Towards a Youth Travel Charter

The global youth travel industry has advanced since the formulation of the San Diego Declaration in 2012; youth travellers now account for at least 23% of international arrivals. Youth travel’s growth has positioned it as a major economic contributor to global tourism receipts and a vital force through which to foster cultural exchange and sustainable development. Time has therefore come to develop a Youth Travel Charter, an instrument that supports, promotes and guides the important work undertaken by the youth travel industry.

The timeline

May 2019:
Members to provide input via the survey below.
October 2019:
Member draft to be shared with WYSE Travel Confederation members at the AGM in Lisbon (8 October).
A feedback session will be run during WYSTC to receive member input on the draft Youth Travel Charter.
November 2019:
Final rounds of amendments made to the Charter.
January 2020:
Publication of Youth Travel Charter.
Adoption and implementation of the Charter to commence.

The background

During the 2012 World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) held in San Diego, California, USA, WYSE Travel Confederation hosted a roundtable discussion with UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and government representatives on the state of the global youth travel industry. The outcome of the meeting was the San Diego Declaration on Youth, Student and Educational Travel, a landmark position paper that outlined key recommendations to support the growth of the youth travel industry, benefit destinations, and enable more young people to travel.

The San Diego Declaration was supported by delegates attending WYSTC. At the invitation of the Secretary General of the UNWTO, the San Diego Declaration was subsequently presented to the 94th Session of the UNWTO Executive Council in October 2012 and formally endorsed by the 20th UNWTO General Assembly in August 2013.


At the 2017 WYSTC Conference in Montreal, Canada a group of youth and student travel organisations gathered to review the San Diego Declaration, with the aim to update it in light of the rapidly changing marketplace. The group was selected based on their sector and geographic region to ensure all voices in the industry were heard, large and small. The feedback received was diverse, highly relevant and led WYSE Travel Confederation to the conclusion that even a revised San Diego Declaration would not be able to cover all the issues that were being raised. In general, the feedback received could be split into three main categories; issues concerning consumers, best practices for organisations and industry promotion to Civil Society organisations and governments. It led WYSE Travel Confederation and its Management Board to the conclusion that a new and larger document was required to truly represent the industry.

A community effort

The aim of this project is to develop a Youth Travel Charter that accurately reflects and addresses the needs, values and challenges and opportunities facing the industry. WYSE Travel Confederation, through its Management Board and Sector Panels is looking, for your input on which points the Charter should include and how the Charter should be used.

Please share your thoughts with us in the survey below.