Over 100 Greek tourism professionals in Athens gained insight last week on the growing markets of youth/student travel and gay travel and how they could attract more visitors from these niche markets to the Greek capital.
The presentations were held during the convention of Travel Trade Athens 2013 at the Acropolis Museum. The two-day trade event hosted over 60 hosted buyers from abroad and aimed to restore the city’s image in the international market and strengthen its popularity as a travel destination.
The power of youth travel
“Youth travel represents 20 percent of international arrivals worldwide and is a market of $182 billion,” the director general of the World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation (WYSE), David Chapman, said.
Mr. Chapman gave a presentation on the trends and insights of the Youth Travel Market.
Based on estimates, by 2020, the youth travel market will represent approximately 300 million arrivals in the international tourism market.
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), youth travelers lead a positive change in the travel sector, as they invest in local tourism businesses and champion environmental protection.
“Youth travel is one of the most promising paths towards a more responsible and sustainable tourism sector,” the UNWTO said in a report released on this niche market.
LGBT Travel: A driving force in the international tourism industry
Greece currently holds the 11th place worldwide among the most popular destinations for gay travelers.
According to recent data, Greece could easily attract 1.5 million arrivals from this niche market and a turnover of some $1.7 billion.
In a recent study, the UNWTO noted that the gay travel market represents 7-12 percent of global tourism expenditure, which adds up to some $70-120 billion.
IGLTA’s vice president underlined that Athens has excellent prospects for further growth in the LGBT market as long as the city “takes appropriate measures.”
According to the latest survey by the US company Community Marketing Inc., whose results were presented at ITB Berlin in March, gay-friendliness is an important factor that influences the choice of destination made by gay and lesbian travelers.