During the 2019 World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) hosted by WYSE Travel Confederation, Kevin O’Shaughnessy of CityHook interviewed eight movers and shakers in the youth travel sector. From the perseverance required to succeed as an entrepreneur to finding your people in the industry and raising capital, hear from representatives of some of the companies changing the face of youth travel.
CEO & Founder, Hitlist
Investors said she couldn’t make money on flights for three reasons, but she went ahead and built a profitable B2C business by debunking them.
During this interview with Gillian Morris, CEO of Hitlist and keynote speaker at WYSTC 2019, Kevin O’Shaughnessy (Cityhook) explores the development, back-end workings, and magical viral coefficient of the mobile app that tells you when to fly to destinations on your travel wish list for the best price.
During this interview with the Co-Founder and CEO of smart hostel tech provider goki, Jack Bowcott explains the transition of the business from a ‘Tinder for tourists’ to a magical spark between hostel and backpacker. He also offers advice to startups seeking investment funding (stay away from tacos), recounts the trials and tribulations of being a door-to-door lock salesman on world tour, and reveals the one critical flaw of hostel tech that left him half naked.
Janice Sousa, Co-Founder of Groupdesk, discusses the dark side of group travel and the tech available to service it with Kevin O’Shaughnessy of Cityhook. She also shares her opinions on NDC’s likely impact on the travel industry, and how to select the right industry events for your business goals.
Passionate foodie entrepreneur Michael Weiss discusses the unique characteristics of independent cultural discovery through culinary experiences in this very personal episode of the WYSTC 2019 podcast series. Michael shares his advice on ‘going niche’, building B2B relationships, how startups can take advantage of WYSTC, and one of the best decisions the company made last year… hint: it was joining a community called WYSE Travel Confederation.
Vice President of Sales & Revenue, HI USA
One of Michelle Hirschfeld’s (HI USA) favourite things about the World Youth and Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) is the friendly knowledge-sharing vibe that brings competitors together for growth and evolution. In this episode of the WYSTC podcast series, Michelle highlights why hostels should be at WYSTC, discusses making peace with OTAs, and describes one of the biggest mistake that nonprofits in the travel space can make. She also calls on a particular OTA to take up an obvious opportunity to educate a specific market of young travellers with great potential.
Co-Founder, Tamwood International College
Tamsin Plaxton, Co-founder of Tamwood International College, talks to Kevin O’Shaughnessy about how a life-changing summer in Switzerland inspired her to leave a career in law and open a language school. Tamsin discusses the dynamics and challenges language programmes face in a diverse political climate.
Head of Growth, Travello
Building and marketing a successful travel app are completely different tasks. At WYSTC 2019, digital marketeer and Head of Growth at Travello, Josh Wicks, discussed with Kevin O’Shaughnessy how the community-first travel app bucked growth trends and improved travel experiences for its users.
In the final WYSTC 2019 podcast William Gertz, Chairman of the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), shares how a life-changing trip to Europe led him to leave journalism for a career in travel marketing. Bill discusses the recurring trends in youth travel marketing and how he set up innovative programmes with the US State Department.