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Student Travel Barometer Sneak Peek

February 26, 2021

Every year, SYTA works with BONARD to create the Student Travel Business Barometer, the only data resource of its kind for domestic and international student group travel.

This year, the full findings will be presented at the Global Forum on Student Travel on March 24, which you can register for here. For now, SYTA wanted to share preliminary findings from nearly 100 organizations that responded.

  • Preliminary data points to an 89% decline in the number of students taking a domestic trip between 2019 and 2020.
  • Only 7% of students took a domestic trip in 2020 as they had planned. Among the most frequent responses, 63% cancelled their 2020 trips, while an additional 13% postponed to 2021 and 14% postponed to 2022.
  • For international travel, only 4% travelled internationally without any change in 2020. 66% of students cancelled, 12% postponed their trip to 2021, 12% postponed to 2022 and 4% changed their destination to a domestic one.
  • Of the business pipeline for 2021, two-thirds were postponements from 2020 and one-third was new business.
  • 68% of the industry expects to achieve a 60-80% recovery in domestic travel in 2022. 62% believe that the industry will fully recover or expand in 2023. International travel is believed to recover at half the pace.
  • The majority of STOs expect shorter stays, closer-to-home destinations (within-the-same-state, local and outdoor destinations will benefit at the expense of city destinations like NYC and DC) to avoid overcrowding, with fewer students travelling per group. Changes in accommodation include switching from quadruple to double bed occupancy.
  • Flexible cancellation policy as well as late booking patterns are expected.

Also, from respondents up to this point, the cumulative loss in gross revenue was just below $300 million for 2020, with a loss of $248 million already predicted for 2021.

To learn much more and see far more data, join us at the Global Forum on Student Travel!