AMSTERDAM. The World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation (WYSE), the world’s most powerful network of youth and student travel professionals, is celebrating its 21st year holding WYSTC, its annual global industry event. WYSTC got its start in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has visited major capitals such as Melbourne, Bangkok, and New York City. This year it heads to San Diego, California. In the past two decades, WYSTC has continued to grow, paralleling the massive growth of youth and student travel within the global economy.
Today, young travelers represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry, accounting for 20 percent of all international arrivals (statistics from the WYSE Travel Confederation and UNWTO-backed study, “The Power of Youth Travel”). They represent a global market worth US$173 billion—more than the annual revenue of Facebook ($4.3 billion) and Apple ($153 billion), the world’s most valuable brand.
WYSTC provides attendees access to hundreds of organizations on the forefront of the youth travel industry and the singular opportunity to learn from industry leaders, gain insight from niche sector meetings, and build global partnerships. At last year’s WYSTC in Barcelona, 4,766 business appointments were arranged, generating $4.5 million in future business.
Said Carye Duffin of CIEE: “WYSTC is a fabulous platform for networking, catching up with old friends, and building new business in various markets. We have been coming to WYSTC for over 15 years now, so we highly recommend it. We’ve built new partnerships, working in markets we couldn’t even anticipate we’d be working in.”
There is still time to register for WYSTC, which is attended by regional, state, and national tourism organizations, accommodation organizations, restaurateurs, and educational travel companies, among others.