Youth Travel Fast Facts

Our studies show that 16-29 year-old travellers contribute significant social and economic benefits to the communities they visit. WYSE Travel Confederation’s ongoing investment in research shapes the international policies and services that make international travel exciting, accessible and affordable for students and adventure seekers eager to get off the beaten track.

The youth travel industry represents:

  • Millions on the Move
    Young travellers represent one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry accounting for 20% of all international arrivals, generating an estimated 160 million visitors and a global market worth US$173 billion a year.
  • Not Just a Budget Market
    Backpackers and Gap Year students stay longer and spend more than average tourists. Our studies show that the average spend is US$2,600 during a 53-day trip (of which US$1,150 is spent within the destination itself).
  • Travel With a Purpose
    70% of 16-29 year old travellers seek out a mix of meaningful travel ambitions such as studying, learning a language, working and volunteering abroad (which helps broaden their skill set) and increasing awareness of diverse cultures.
  • Global Trend-Setters
    Always eager to explore new destinations and get off the beaten path, young independent travellers are the taste-makers and trend-setters of the global travel industry. They are a resilient market, undeterred by economic crisis, terrorism and natural disasters.

Executive summaries of our youth travel research reports can be downloaded here. Members can access full copies of these reports by logging in to the members-only area of this website.