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WYSE Travel Confederation works to raise awareness of youth and student travel as one of the fastest growing sectors within travel and tourism, supporting 67 million jobs and generating 2.4% of global GDP.

WYSE Travel Confederation is the only global body that brings together all major players in this industry, enabling them to speak to governments and international bodies with one voice.

When advocating on behalf of the industry, WYSE champions policies that are inclusive, pro-growth and based on solid research.

Tourism can only make its fullest contribution to the world’s economic and social wellbeing if governments are awake to the potential of youth travel and fully understand its impact on destinations.

Taleb Rifai

Former UNWTO Secretary General

WYSE Advocacy Principles

Youth are…

  • a positive force in society and have enormous potential for contributing to the development and advancement of societies
  • travellers who represent a vehicle to foster cultural understanding, social interaction and peace
  • a major force for social and economic development in the destinations they visit
  • high impact visitors to developing countries given they are inclined to engage in volunteer and development projects
  • relatively resilient travellers in times of political and civil unrest, health epidemics, and natural disasters

Destination Development

Countries are facing increasing levels of competition when it comes to tourism and recognise that in order to become and remain an appealing youth travel destination, a youth-focussed destination development strategy is required – one that is founded on facts, draws on collaboration, and drives visitor growth through unique inspiration and creativity.

Endorsed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), WYSE Travel Confederation’s Destination Development Programme offers a comprehensive suite of support services that help destinations to:

  • better understand the youth market
  • achieve strategic development goals
  • create compelling experiences
  • foster sustainable growth

Campaigns & Toolkits

Sydney Declaration

How hostels can approach their relationships with Online Travel Agents.
A tool for developing fair agreements between Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and hostels.

San Diego Declaration

How destinations can tap into the potential of youth and student travel.
A tool to highlight the economic, social and cultural importance of youth travel to governments worldwide.

Work & Travel

How youth and student travel agents can develop a position paper.
A tool for communicating the critical role that visas play in enabling cultural exchange opportunities for youth.

San Diego Declaration

  • Highlight the economic, social and cultural importance of promoting youth travel to governments worldwide;
  • Call on tourism authorities to take youth into account in the formation of tourism development strategies to ensure their destinations benefit from the positive impacts that youth travel can bring;
  • Ensure that such strategies seek to optimize the social, cultural, economic and environmental benefits to stakeholders in destinations;
  • Promote, in the formation of such strategies, the principles of fair trade, inclusive economic development and the protection of human rights for the economically poor and socially vulnerable;
  • Seek a standard terminology and agree on parameters to be used in research to ensure the consistency and authority of said research;
  • Establish the necessary mechanisms to understand the profile, characteristics and interests of young travellers so their travel needs may be better served;
  • Encourage the formation of partnerships between stakeholders in all destinations to ensure the sharing of information, consensus on policy and the best possible service to young visitors;
  • Facilitate the cross-border passage of young travellers through flexible immigration policies that recognise the economic and social benefits that youth tourism can bring;
  • Strengthen the mechanisms of cross-border passage to ensure that visas and other travel formalities are processed, issued and verified in an effective and efficient manner;
  • Devise and implement the proper mechanisms to ensure the safety and wellbeing of young travellers;
  • Highlight the importance to young people of engaging in programmes and projects that will enhance their personal and professional development, particularly where these involve travel;
  • Highlight the importance to young people of engaging in programmes and projects that benefit social and economic development in developing countries;
  • Education authorities and institutions should consider the value of introducing travel within curricula as a means of enhancing the skills and personal development of young people;