Watch out, because educational tourism is on the rise in 2023! The educational tourism market is currently estimated to be valued at $409.6 billion, and will only grow higher in the next decade. We have briefly touched on this in a previous article about cultural exchange, which you may find at the bottom of this article. The market for school trips and educational travel experiences is on the rise, and it’s no surprise why.
Educational tourism offers a unique blend of adventure and knowledge. It allows students to step outside their comfort zones and gain valuable insights from real-world experiences. From language immersion programs to hands-on workshops, there are endless possibilities for learning in a vibrant destination like China. What’s more, educational school trips allow people to not just be students of a school, but students of life.
What is Educational Tourism and what are the benefits?
Educational tourism is one of many types of tourism that have been on the rise. In case you were wondering, the other types of tourism are ecotourism, business tourism, sports tourism, rural tourism, wildlife tourism, etc. Interestingly, this type of tourism can be traced back to the 16th century and it was very popular amongst young British aristocrats.
The journey that these young aristocrats embarked on was called the Grand Tour, seen as a rite of passage among the elite. The Grand Tour provided opportunities to discover the art, antiquity, and architecture of other European countries, and sometimes even beyond. Grand Tourists often brought home souvenirs from their travels, much like travelers today.
During their travels, a tutor would guide the Grand Tourists through classical ruins in France, Italy, Greece, and other major European countries. They would also read Latin and Greek texts during their educational tours, since studies during that time period heavily involved Classics. Unlike the school trips we offer, Grand Tours often lasted for a least one year.
The main purpose of educational tourism is to gain knowledge and new experiences in a new setting. From learning about oneself to enhancing cultural awareness to changing worldviews, all can be done on an educational school trip. The demand for educational travel is born out of an awareness of lifelong learning and personal development.
From a nation’s point of view, educational tourism facilitates improved international collaboration, building a positive image, increasing employment rates, and rapid development of infrastructure.
Educational school trips offer an immersive experience, giving students ample opportunity to apply a learned skill in addition to studying new subjects. While mass tourism will forever be popular, this reignited consumer demand is driving the growth of the educational tourism sector.
How has the pandemic impacted the Educational Tourism market?
It’s not hard to guess that the educational tourism market plummeted due to COVID-19-related international travel restrictions. In the first half of 2020, foreign tourism decreased by 65%.
In 2021, the global educational tourism market value was estimated at $399.8 billion. As of 2023, the estimated market value is $409.6 billion. Research predicts the market to experience a 17.2% compound annual growth rate and reach $974.7 billion by 2030.
This is a considerable jump compared to a compound annual growth rate of 12.9% from 2016 to 2020. In 2022, people from the ages of 19 to 25 accounted for 73% of the global educational tourism market revenue.
A Closer Look: Key drivers of growth in the Educational Tourism market in 2023
The US is expected to account for over 3 quarters of the market share in the educational tourism market. Its main drivers are language learning and the increased demand for an international jobs. Widening our lens to a regional view, North America will make up 31% of the global market share. While it is a significant portion, it is clear that several other regions will contribute to market share. Over the next decade, Europe will contribute to approximately 27% of the global market share.
It’s no secret that being bilingual or multilingual has its appeal on resumes. A person who has participated in educational tourism also has better job prospects and career opportunities. Student exchange programs and diverse international study programs have also been attracting students to the US.
Other factors of growth in educational tourism include an increased interconnectedness among countries with international trade, accessibility, and growing government marketing initiatives for educational and cultural hubs. As we have mentioned before, the US, UK, Turkey, Italy, and Greece are some of the countries experiencing the most educational tourism.
In the past two years, there has also been an increased demand for new courses, new government initiatives to boost their tourism sectors, and an interest in experiencing new cultures among millennials and Gen Zers. Compared to generations before them, Gen Zers view traveling as more of a priority, and something that should not wait until retirement.
Check out 2 of WildChina’s Educational School Trips to China
Miao Village Homestay: Life Through a Lens
Join us on a journey to an undiscovered gem in southwest China. This 7-day trip to Guizhou (贵州, guì zhōu) introduces students to the Miao (苗, miáo), Dong (侗, dòng), and Yao (瑶, yáo) ethnic minorities and their traditional ways of life.
Traverse valleys and hilltops as you take in the extraordinary scenery. During this school trip to
China, students will visit the capital city of Kaili (凯里, kâi lî), immerse themselves in history and culture, and expand their worldview through community service projects.
Days 1 to 3
In addition to Service Learning and History & Culture, students will learn basic photography skills through workshops and projects, starting with an orientation and photography brief by a WildChina program leader.
Take some time to hike through the rural countryside in Wuyao village and remind yourself to live in the present moment to the fullest extent. Students will get to meet villagers by way of a traditional Miao welcome ceremony and apply their photography skills through assignments and workshops.
Days 4 to 7
Observe the local way of life at a local primary school and engage in activities with the village students. After taking more portraits, students will partake in a Storytelling Project as their final photo assignment.
Pingyao: China’s UNESCO City
Located in Shanxi province, the ancient city of Pingyao (平遥, píng yáo) was founded in the 14th century and is full of rich history and hidden treasures.
Students will learn about past governing institutions at the Pingyao Ancient county hall, participate in a roleplaying and problem-solving game, and visit a Confucian temple to learn traditional Chinese paper cutting.
Learn more by reaching out to us
We have so many more trips for you to explore! Make sure you check out some other school trips to China on our website before deciding on one. You can also browse school trips based on age group, location, and learning objective. But at the end of the day, your trip is fully customizable.
WildChina has been leading private, customized tours for all age groups for over twenty years. Whether your learning objectives are Eco-Diversity, Global Leadership, History & Culture, or anything else, we would be delighted to accommodate you.
Allow your students to see for themselves the appeal of educational tourism on a school trip to China. Reach out to our Academic Managers today if you have any questions or want to learn more about the two trips we highlighted.