The most recent analysis of the size of the youth travel market is based on 2012 from over 20 countries with age breakdowns of international tourist arrivals. The analysis, done in collaboration with UNWTO, estimates the global youth travel segment to represent around 23% of all arrivals.
“Over time, the share of youth travellers has not only increased, but diversified due to growing numbers of young travellers from emerging economies. This is very good news as young travellers tend to look for lesser known destinations and be more resilient in moments of crises. UNWTO is thus very pleased to be working alongside WYSE Travel Confederation to better understand this important market segment and support countries adjustment to the needs of young travellers,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
Youth and student travel is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic segments of global tourism with young travellers attracting more attention from destinations looking to diversify their markets.
“Not only are young travellers on the verge of representing nearly a quarter of international arrivals, they bring sustainable value to destinations,” said David Chapman, Director General of WYSE Travel Confederation.
“Youth and student travellers are pursuing knowledge and skill-building activities through travel. Educational travel experiences are usually for an extended period and offer deeper value to both traveller and host destination when compared to more traditional types of leisure travel,” added Chapman.