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Student Travellers (Part 2) – Why should we care?

With the student travel market expected to make up $320 billion dollars in revenue by 2020, perhaps it's time to better understand their destination behaviours.

With the student travel market expected to make up $320 billion dollars in revenue by 2020, perhaps it’s time to better understand their destination behaviours.

We all need to better understand the needs of student travellers , specially with 300 million student-travel related arrivals expected by 2020. To put it in monetary terms, those arrivals will account for around $320 billion dollars in revenue for the travel industry. There is a definite rise in student travel and they’re spending to make sure they get what they want.


To tap into this market, we should be curating and cultivating relevant experiences for student travellers. We can no longer just box them up into the party tours anymore, although there is obviously still a market for it.

“Millennials might not be the core customers of airline, hotel, and other travel verticals, yet. But they are likely to spend a good deal of money in that market in the near future. This is expected to be the case especially in the business-travel segment of the market, as Millennials grow into it: they are expected to account for some 54% of the segment by 2025. “

Boston Consulting Group Report (2013)


There is also the matter that student travellers become life-long travellers with a life-long travel budget from $40,000 – $120,000 per individual. There is a notion that future travel choices emerge from experiences and patterns that occur during a consumers younger years. The student traveller’s budget runs from $1,000 – $6,000 on an average trip.


Getting to know the millennials


It’s important to know the travel habits of these millennial, 18-24 year olds to attract student travellers. Here are some insights surrounding their destination behaviours.

  • Millennial travelers are keen to find themselves in relatively remote destinations.
  • Millennials are more inclined to stay in hostels than in traditional hotels.
  • Millennials remain in-journey longer, typically spending more than two months on a trip.

The student traveler is approaching what they do in-destination with immersion and local contact as a goal.


Why should we care?

Student travellers can significantly support established destinations as they spend, show resiliency to shifting global circumstances, and offer repeat business (one study found a return rate of 54%). Additionally, the student traveller poses the potential topenetrate, develop, and make permanent new destinations.

  • Young travellers often spend more than other tourists.
  • The demographic is likely to return and give more value to the destination over their lifetime.
  • Student and youth travellers are a growth market, globally, while the spending power of older generations in Western economies stands to decline over the long term.
  • Younger individuals are less likely to be deterred from travelling by terrorism,political and civil unrest, disease, and/or natural disasters.
  • Young travellers are often the pioneers who discover new destinations.

Watch out next Monday for an in-depth industry perspective to student travel.


What are your selling tips when targeting student travellers? Let us know in the comments section below.