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About New Horizons: The global study of the youth and student traveller

The New Horizons IV Survey attracted more than 57,000 responses from 188 countries and territories between June and November 2017. The report, New Horizons IV: A global study of the youth and student traveller, will be published in 2018 by WYSE Travel Confederation.

The aim of New Horizons is to provide a global overview of the youth and student travel market, which was estimated to include 284 million international trips in 2016.

  • Who travels, where, why, and how?
  • How are trips planned and booked?
  • How much is spent and on what?

New Horizons is the only recurring global survey of the youth travel market. Since its first iteration in 2002, New Horizons has expanded in both scale and scope, going from 2,300 responses in 2002 to 34,000 in 2012.


May 2017 

Survey launches

Sep 2017

Preliminary findings presented at WYSTC 2017

Nov 2017

Survey closes

June 2018 

New Horizons IV report published

WYSE Travel Confederation

The World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation is a global not-for-profit membership organisation dedicated to promoting and developing opportunities for young travellers and the youth, student and educational travel industry that serves them.

WYSE Travel Confederation is committed to understanding the ever-changing characteristics, motivations, and needs of young travellers. By gathering, analysing and sharing important market intelligence with members, academics and government decision-makers, WYSE works with its members, tourism authorities and other partners around the globe to:

  • Identify the unique needs and trends of today’s independent travellers
  • Suggest best practice guidelines on products and policies
  • Promote the personal, social, economic and cultural benefits of youth travel and international education
  • Support the development of youth travel specialists and the critical role they play in this unique USD 280 billion market
  • Develop trading, networking and knowledge-sharing platforms for youth and student specialists.

Key findings from New Horizons III

The youth traveller is a trailblazer in tourism and spends more and stays longer than the average tourist:

  • Spends, on average, just under EUR 3,000 per trip
  • Stays, on average, 58 days
  • Pioneered the shift from cultural tourism to relational tourism
  • Makes travel a means of discovering oneself while understanding others

Get involved

WYSE asks retailers and suppliers of travel products tailored to the youth and student traveller to share the survey with your customers in order to increase the reach of the study and deepen the industry’s knowledge of the youth and student traveller. 

All responses to WYSE surveys are handled as confidential. Data are only reported in aggregated terms and not identified on an individual basis for any reason. Contact us at to get involved.

Interested to dig deeper at a specific market, age group or type of travel? Consider sponsorship options that offer you customised reports or valuable advertising exposure. More information about New Horizons publications is available at

WYSE research sponsors

Emirates Airline

Dubai-based Emirates started in 1985 when they launched operations with just two aircrafts. Today, they fly the world’s biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, and inspire travellers around the world with their growing network of destinations, industry leading inflight entertainment, regionally inspired cuisine and world-class service. Emirates was named the “Best Airline in the World” and “Best Middle Eastern Airline” at the prestigious Ultras 2017 Awards. They were also voted 2017 “Best Airline in the World” by TripAdvisor travellers. Emirates is an Elite member of WYSE Travel Confederation.

Hostelling International

Hostelling International (HI) started in 1932 to coordinate Youth Hostel Associations worldwide. Today, HI is one of the world’s largest international membership organisations with more than 3.7 million members and offers many benefits in addition to hostel stay.

“We don’t do it for profit, but to offer our guests the chance to experience meaningful interactions with local communities, in ways that enrich young people and encourage mutual understanding. We share our passion for travelling and responsible tourism – meeting new people and learning about ourselves in the process,” said Rebecca O’Connor, Head of Partnerships for Hostelling International.


Inspired by a lifetime of adventurous travel, Vagaband is the original travellers’ safety wristband. According to Vagaband, this fire and water resistant, tech-free band is the clearest, simplest and easiest way to make sure that travellers’ most important medical and personal details are always literally close to hand. With just a pencil, new information can be added or edited at any time, meaning that whatever is written in the band is always relevant, accurate and up to date. Vagaband’s mission is to create something that’s reliable, and potentially lifesaving, no matter where travellers end up.

EXIT Festival

EXIT Festival began in 2000 following a hundred-day student protest against the then regime of Milosevic. In fifteen years it has become the most important music festival in Southeast Europe. In 2016 the festival was even officially named Europe’s Best Summer Music Festival. 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and the festival commemorated some of the most important events from 1967 when the revolutionary Peace Movement began.


MEININGER is a unique hospitality product founded in 1999 that combines the comfort and safety of an international budget hotel with facilities such as guest kitchens and game zones. People from countries all over the world meet and socialize in our comfortable and well-designed common areas. Always centrally located, MEININGER is the ideal base to explore vibrant cities across the world. The bedrooms range from traditional double rooms to private rooms with multiple beds right up to a bed in a dorm room. The design of each MEININGER hotel is based on a specific theme associated with the city. In this way, a place of warm personality emerges where guests feel comfortable and willing to share their experiences.


STS is a leading global company within international studies and cultural exchange. They offer experience-based learning in terms of guided youth trips and summer language travel, high school exchange, au pair and study abroad programmes at colleges and universities. Their largest destinations are the USA and the UK, but also offer programmes in 20 countries across the world. STS has thousands of students from 50 different nationalities each year. The STS mission is to empower young people to grow through education and cultural exchange. They are convinced that experience-based learning abroad is truly the best way to learn new skills, a new language, boost self-confidence and grow as a person.