A First-of-its-Kind Study about Student Travel

Jul 12, 2016

Travel Notes

Leading student tours is a rewarding part of many of our lives, but very little data exists to prove its impact. That changed when the Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA) released the findings from a first-of-its-kind study about student travel. Conducted through a comprehensive survey of both educators and travel professionals, here we highlight the study’s most intriguing findings.

Why travel?

Overwhelmingly, educators feel travel has a positive impact on students’ lives. 74% of educators believe travel has a very positive impact on personal development, and 56% of educators believe travel has a very positive impact on students’ education and future career. Additionally, a majority of educators feel travel has a broad reaching social impact on students’ lives, resulting in an increased willingness to know/learn/explore, increased desire to travel more, increased independence, more intellectual curiosity, and increased tolerance of cultures and ethnicities, to name a few.

International travel is viewed has having a positive impact on students as well. 74% of educators believe international travel increases students tolerance of other cultures and ethnicities. Students who participate in an international trip are also seen as being more appealing to college admissions and employers.

What are the barriers to travel?

Educators stated that a lack of financial resources and administrative limitations are the top two barriers they face when planning a tour. Though you are likely familiar with these barriers, you also know it is possible to overcome them. If help is needed to break them down, both SYTA and our TRAVELnotes blog have resources to assist.

When do you and your colleagues plan?

On average, group leaders begin planning domestic trips 7 months prior to departure, and international trips 11 months prior. BRT clients start the booking process much earlier, typically 10 – 12 months prior for domestic trips. This extra lead time increases the likelihood they can secure their preferred performances, attractions, and accommodation’s, as well gives their students more time for fundraising.

What types of trips are being taken?

You and your colleagues in music education travel more than any other group, with music-focused trips the preferred subject of 72% of survey respondents. Trips that incorporate history and culture come in second and third, respectively.

Where are groups traveling?

While we recently shared a list of destinations that are most popular with our performance travel clients, this study ranked the destinations that are most popular with all types of student groups. The top 10 domestic destinations for all student groups are:

  1. Washington D.C.
  2. New York City
  3. Orlando
  4. Boston
  5. Chicago
  6. Philadelphia
  7. Los Angeles
  8. Dallas
  9. Anaheim
  10. Williamsburg

Internationally, these 10 countries are top with U.S. teachers:

  1. France
  2. Spain
  3. Italy
  4. Costa Rica
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Germany
  7. Austria
  8. Canada
  9. China
  10. Switzerland

How are trips paid for?

Parents fund 56% of all trips, while fundraising is able to pay for 1 in 4 trips. Successful fundraising can in turn allow a higher number of students to participate in a performance tour. Solving the fundraising puzzle doesn’t need to be tricky either. Using resources such as our fundraising guide, you can increase the portion of trip costs which are covered by fundraising.

This study is proof that travel is a transformational experience, and we’re proud to be making moments that matter for groups like yours every day. If we can help you transform your students through travel, please let us know.

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