Saturday, November 17

Women swap the everyday for the getaway

(Originally published in TOURISM)

Whether a Miss, Mrs. or Ms, the keyword when it comes to travel is "more". Lots more.

According to statistics from the US market, women took 32 million trips last year. Speaking even more strongly to the economic clout women carry, researchers estimate that next year women will spend 125 billion USD on travel. On top of that, the potential of the female travel market is suspected to be more than $19 trillion.

Women of all ages and in all stages in life - single, married, divorced and widowed - are jumping on the bon voyage bandwagon. And they are not weaving across continents simply to sit back, relax and chat: 75% of cultural and adventure-trip takers are women. The average adventure traveller age? A fabulous 47.

Women are also travelling even if it means leaving someone special back home. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that of 500 female travellers surveyed in 2003 by Women Traveling Together (a Maryland-based tour operator), almost two-thirds left behind husbands or boyfriends within the previous year to join an all-women tour.

Even those who ultimately choose to travel alone are encouraged by an industry that now caters to gender-specific concerns. Some hotels, such as Dubai's Jumeirah Emirates Tower and Durban, South Africa's Royal Hotel are among the international accommodations that feature women-only floors.

Out-of-country students are a growth market

(Originally published in TOURISM)

The number of tertiary students enrolled outside their country of citizenship has grown from 0.61 million worldwide in 1975 to 2.73 million in 2005, mirroring the growing globalization of economies and societies, according to a report issued by the Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development and quoted in Travel Impact Newswire on September 27, 2007.

The report says that freely circulating capital, goods and services - along with greater openness of labour markets - have increased the demand for new kinds of education in OECD countries. Higher education is playing an important role in broadening the horizons of students and allowing them to better understand the multiplicity of languages, cultures and business methods in the world. Several OECD governments - especially in the European Union (EU) countries - have set up student mobility schemes to foster intercultural contacts and build social networks for the future.

The report says that other driving factors include decreasing transportation costs, the spread of new technologies, and faster, cheaper communication which have resulted in a growing interdependence of economies and societies in the 1980s and even more so in the 1990s. This tendency was particularly strong in the high technology sector and labour market.

In 2005, the US received 22% of the total of all foreign students worldwide, followed by the UK (12%), Germany (10%) and France (9%). Altogether, these four major destinations account for 52% of all tertiary students pursuing their studies abroad. Significant numbers of foreign students were enrolled in Australia (6%), Japan (5%), Canada (3%), New Zealand (3%) and the partner economy the Russian Federation (3%).

Asian students form the largest group of international students enrolled in countries reporting data to the OECD or the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, followed by Europeans (24.9%), in particular citizens of the European Union (16.9%). Students from Africa account for 11.0% of all international students, while those from North America account for only 3.7%; students from South America represent 5.7% of the total.