An increasing number of governments, tourism boards and official tourism organisations worldwide are recognizing the unique social and economic value of youth and student travel. WYSE Travel Confederation is committed to working with destination management organizations at national and local level to help them understand this unique market and maximize the economic and social impact that young people can have.

globeThe resilience of the youth travel market to global crises such as the recession and terrorism has attracted the attention of tourism officials worldwide who are increasingly eager to attract this US$182 billion per year market.That’s good news for youth and student travel specialists worldwide!

WYSE Travel Confederation is working closely with tourism authorities in providing guidelines on the products and policies that will help to make destinations more interesting and accessible to the youth travel market. In September 2012 a major step forward was made with the creation of the San Diego Declaration, which set out our priorities for developing youth travel in the coming years.Our work with Official Tourism Organisations is ongoing. Through our special membership programme for destinations, supported by the World Tourism Organization, Official Tourism Organisations (OTOs) can gain access to our full research library, attend our high level policy forum for destinations and take advantage of excellent attendance rates at our events.

Part of our work with tourism authorities includes sharing interesting cases of best practice for others to learn from. Tourism Australia and the German National Tourism Board are two Official Tourism Organizations that have launched bold, innovative campaigns to attract young visitors. In the case of Tourism Australia (a proud member of WYSE Travel Confederation), the campaign is built around working holidays in the country. Meanwhile Germany is targeting leisure visitors, encouraging them to share their travel experiences on social media via hundreds of free Wifi ‘Hotspots’.