As a student traveller you probably spend a lot of time thinking about how to go further for less. How can you squeeze in another country on a shoestring budget?How can you eat well and still have money left for beer?
You might also think that because you aren’t spending tons of cash on luxury hotels, fancy tours and first-class service that the travel industry doesn’t think about you too much.
Youth travellers make up about 20% of all international travellers. Younger student travellers are also an important part of cultural exchanges, so not only can local economies benefit from welcoming tourism, the general population can too.
President Obama is all over this issue and is asking key U.S. government agencies and working groups to develop recommendations for a national strategy to encourage domestic and international travel and tourism for young people.
Hostelling International is also ready to spring into action with this message:
Youth travelers, ages 18-30, are important envoys for intercultural exchange and their travels pack an economic punch.
• Youth travel is a large and growing travel segment, with the current 190 million trips per year worldwide expected to grow by more than 50% by the year 2020.
• Youth travelers receive a lifetime benefit from their travel experiences.
• Youth travelers spend more than other travelers, mainly because their trips are longer.
• Youth travelers benefit local economies, because they usually travel independently instead of on organized tours.
Did you know you were so important? And now that you do know, how are you going to flex your travel muscles?
(I’d recommend trying out the brand-spanking-new hostel opening in Boston, Massachusetts, just for starters.)