Not all tour operators are experts at student travel—that’s where the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) comes in.
While you may know that Teach & Travel is the official publication of SYTA, you might not know exactly what it means to be a part of SYTA and why it matters at all. Whether you’re looking for a qualified tour operator to work with or think your current operator could use more student travel resources, let’s break down why it’s a great idea to work with a SYTA tour operator.
Experience, safety and financial security are top values that a SYTA tour operator has in mind. SYTA tour operators adhere to higher standards, sign a code of ethics, and are required to carry specific levels of insurance. This helps students, parents and educators experience the social and educational value of travel with peace of mind.
One of the greatest advantages to using a tour operator, rather than plan a student group trip on your own, is benefitting from the relationships operators have built with various vendors, such as hotels and attractions and transportation. A SYTA tour operator has spent years cultivating relationships, which helps them build volume and be better suited to offer your group better rates, VIP access and special tickets an individual would not be able to get on their own.
These relationships have proven their value during times of crisis—particularly the COVID-19 global emergency. As destinations and attractions have closed and airlines have cancelled and reduced flights, SYTA tour operators have been able to take advantage of their relationships with vendors to get faster, more accurate and better resolutions to problems.
Did you know many SYTA tour operators are previous educators themselves? Not only did they experience and help plan travel as an educator, but they’ve continued to use that expertise to help other educators do the same.
SYTA tour operators are continually learning! In today’s changing environment, these operators take time to engage in conferences, roundtables, and webinars to improve their response plans for safety, crises, and emergencies. They are equipped with the knowledge to lead and support your groups during an emergency and provide critical support to youth and their families.
They also attend conferences, meet new vendors and learn about new destinations, attractions, restaurants, and hotels that provide you, the traveler, with more options. They are knowledgeable in fundraising, working with school leadership to help teachers get travel approved and providing unique and life-changing travel for students; they are your partner in travel.
SYTA tour operators are passionate about the impact of travel and are dedicated to providing students with a life-enhancing travel experience. You can be assured student and youth travel is an immense part of their lives, and they’re always thinking about ways to help educators.