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Youth travel on the rise for reasons other than leisure

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Youth travel on the rise for reasons other than leisure

For years, older adults were more likely to travel the globe than younger people. Whether it was for leisure or business, they often had more money to spend and a greater ability to see the world. That trend has shifted of late, as recent findings from the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation suggest. The nonprofit found that there was a 40 percent rise in youth travel - meaning people between 18 and 35 - between 2007 and 2012, greatly outpacing the 3 percent growth exhibited by other international travelers, according to results published in the organization's New Horizons III study.

A wide variety of reasons
The findings, which are based on a poll of more than 34,000 people from 137 countries, revealed more about why youth travelers are seeing the globe, and it's not simply for vacations or leisure time. About 22 percent of respondents said they traveled because they wanted to learn a language. Additionally 15 percent travel to gain work experience, while another 15 percent did so in order to study abroad. The nature of their travels has also changed considerably.

"With young people traveling further, staying away for longer, spending more, keeping in touch more and integrating with overseas communities on a scale not seen before, the industry is becoming far broader than ever before," David Chapman, the organization's director general, told International Business Times. "The research provides an invaluable insight into this ever expanding market and will be a valuable resource for organizations to help understand their market and adapt to meet their needs."

Longer stays means new choices
Given the changing face of youth travel, younger adults may be looking toward findings new lodging opportunities. For instance, rather than spending weeks and months in a hotel room during a business trip or staying for a semester in a traditional room, serviced apartments may be the best option. The biggest advantage of serviced apartments is that they provide many of the comforts of home during an extended stay. For instance, a full-furnished kitchen can not only give young travelers the chance to cook for themselves, but they can also save money on food. Additionally, serviced apartments are often larger than hotel rooms, making for a much more comfortable stay.