Very interesting report issued this week by the Family Travel Forum Consulting (FTFc) about trends in teen travel.
You can read the report here.
The survey of 5,700 teens showed that:
— 48% of teen applicants have traveled outside the United States by their 18th birthday.
— 29% of teens who vacationed with family traveled outside the U.S. and Canada
— 8 out of 10 teens seeking cultural enrichment joined study abroad programs while nearly 20% studied U.S. history and culture within their own country.
— Africa-Middle East saw the largest increase in outbound teen travel — 48% — as 4.3% of the 2009 applicants wrote about the region compared with just 2.9% in 2007.
This is extremely encouraging, especially considering that approximately 85% of Americans do not even have passports.
Not only has the drop in airfare (since deregulation in the 80’s) made international travel, but the choice of destinations is trending toward non-traditional destinations.
We interpret the rise in travel to Africa and volunteering as part of a much larger mega-trend of students caring more about international issues such as poverty and public health as well as a reduction in fear of traveling to unknown parts of the world.
Global Leadership Adventures has re-doubled its commitment to teen volunteer summer programs in Africa by offering programs in Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa.
Let’s hope this trend continues!