The Student & Youth Travel Association is the premier organization for businesses dedicated to providing students and young people with life-enhancing travel experiences—and it’s clear that SYTA members have a passion for what they do. But did you know there are huge advantages to using a SYTA Member tour operator? Teach & Travel asked Carylann Assante, the association’s executive director, to offer her top three reasons to work with a SYTA Member tour operator for your next trip.
The majority of SYTA Members are former educators and band directors—or their families have been in this business for years. Providing travel for students is the SYTA Member tour operator’s sole focus, while many others in the industry only work with adults or senior citizens. Our members are truly passionate about the experiences and the impact travel have on young people, and it’s not uncommon to see many of our members guide and travel with their student groups.
2. CONTINUOUS LEARNING
We empower our members through advocacy, education, training and networking opportunities, allowing them to grow. SYTA Members attend conferences where they meet new suppliers and learn about new destinations, attractions, restaurants, and hotels, to provide more options for their customers. They also participate in education sessions and webinars, where they learn and improve their safety, crisis and emergency response plans—equipping them with the knowledge necessary to lead and support their customers in the event of an emergency and to provide critical support to students and their families.
3. SAFETY AND STRONG RELATIONSHIPS
We instill confidence in our travelers by establishing quality and safety standards for travel providers. As members of SYTA, tour operators are held to higher standards and sign a code of ethics, in addition to having to show that they have a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance and carry professional liability insurance. Members have relationships with insurance companies and service providers to get special SYTA rates and negotiate the best terms for their customers—which can result in more value for your trip. They belong to the SYTA community that advocates for safe professional travel and communicates this to school boards, superintendents and principals to help teachers get their travel approved.
Edited by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Teach & Travel.
This article originally appeared in Teach & Travel.