Your Canadian Study & Work Abroad Expert

WYSTC 2016 Summary

The 25th annual World Youth and Study Travel Conference (or commonly known as WYSTC) took place in Belgrade, Serbia from 20th until the 23rd of September. This is one of the leading major events for the global youth, student and education travel industry.


Friday Keynote on WYSTC 2016 in Belgrade

WYSTC brought together over 450 organizations across the world that are specialized in various areas such as student travel, volunteer, internship / work experience, accommodation, au pair, language or university programs and many more with a sole purpose of connecting businesses in order to make the best of what this industry has to offer.

During the four days of the conference, industry professionals could take part in various activities:

Networking events where members could spend some time together in a pleasant atmosphere over drinks and snacks, getting to know each other, their business and establishing long lasting connections with other professionals from their (or other) areas of the youth travel industry.

Seminars / Workshops where you could learn new insights about the industry and even get some practical tips on how to utilize modern technology to better yourself and the products / services that you offer. For example, in one of the workshops we have learned that the youth travel industry makes ¼ of the entire travel industry, that during the year of 2015 there were roughly 270 million travelers around the world and that the industry consists of over 600 organizations and 46,000 industry specialists. Now those are some impressive figures!

Probably one of the most important workshop was on Friday, September 23rd when Clark Goodman, Director General from International Experience Canada (IEC) gave an overview on the IEC program and the initiative the Government of Canada is undertaking along with other educational institutions and the private sector in order to make easier Canadian youth’s international work and travel experience. We also discussed the barriers of outbound mobility of the Canadian youth and how can we together overcome these barriers to provide lifelong learning experiences.

workshop with Clark Goodman from IEC

Business to business appointments were the core of the entire conference. In these appointments, professionals from different countries and industries, discussed what they can offer or need in order to make the youth travel industry more efficient than before, how to overcome certain barriers in their industry and how to provide the highest quality products / services. These short, 20 minute appointments are not only there for you to connect and establish connections with new business partners, but also to strengthen and improve the connections that you already have. And that’s what we at Latitude International Education did too. Aside from meeting with new people and figuring out what other markets need (and how to meet those needs) we also sat down with our existing partners from different countries in order to see what issues they are struggling with, to receive some recommendations on how to improve services (after all they are the voice of their own market) and also to present the improvements and changes we have conducted so far.

Global Youth Travel Awards took place on the final night of the conference. During this gala event, WYSTC delegates could network over a final glass of wine, great food and in an atmosphere that you don’t get to experience too often. Of course the main objective of the evening (as the title of the event says) is the awards ceremony where prizes have been given in several categories to recognize the high achievers of the industry and also the announcement where will the 2017 WYSTC be held… in Montreal, Canada!



Every year WYSTC has something new to offer and you can rely on the 4 pillars of WYSE: Education – you will learn something new from the people you meet; Networking – You will surely establish some new connections; Presentation – You get the chance to promote yourself or your business to an unique audience and Research – You have the opportunity to research business options not just for yourself and your business, but also to provide options for others. Hope to see you again next year in Montreal, Canada.

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Latitude International Education is a member of the WYSE Travel Confederation and WYSE Work & Volunteer Abroad.