What is SYTA and why is it important to me as I plan my student tour?
If you’re new to the student travel industry and are planning your first tour, you probably have come across tour companies in your research who talk about being SYTA members. And you’re probably thinking to yourself, “That’s great…what does it mean?” Great question! Let’s talk about it.
Student and Youth Travel Association
SYTA touts itself as the “Voice of Student and Youth Travel” and it really is. Advocacy for the industry as a whole is a major focus. SYTA does this by establishing safety standards that its members must meet and educating potential group leaders (like yourself) on how to plan a top notch student tour. Planning resources are readily available on the website, including safety, crisis planning, and legal guides for both tour operators and organizations planning trips. (Be sure to check out their COVID-19 Educator Research Guide which offers great insight into the future of student travel following the pandemic and answers many questions that travel planners should consider moving forward.)
Why do I want to travel with a SYTA member company?
When you choose to travel with a SYTA member, you’re making the decision to travel with a tour company that specializes in student tours. Each tour operator has experience running trips that are tailored towards a younger crowd. This is important because these companies will understand your unique needs. Beyond that, the continuous education SYTA members undertake keeps them up to date on the newest safety standards and protocols. Additionally, each company is required to have at least $1 million in liability insurance, carry professional liability insurance, and sign a code of ethics.
SYTA Youth Foundation
The SYTA Youth Foundation was founded in 2000 with the mission to “provide travel experiences for youth and students who would otherwise not have the resources to participate in those enriching and life-changing opportunities.” The Foundation provides scholarships and funding opportunities with the ultimate goal of getting as many kids traveling as possible.