A travel consulting group based in Victoria, BC is looking for input from youth in Prince George and across the country about their attitudes towards future travel.
The travel sector has been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with international travel coming to a standstill in March 2020. The road to recovery for the industry remains unclear but EBI Consulting hopes the nation-wide survey will provide some insights into perceptions and attitudes towards travel.
“I think the one thing we’re all pretty aware of is it’s going to be very different," Jim Schneider of EBI Consulting Group says.
The survey, he hopes, will give youth a change to shape the ‘new normal’ for youth travel.
Prince George is a relatively young city, with the largest represented group being in the 25 to 29 age range and a median age of 38, below the provincial median at 42. The University of Northern British Columbia counts 11.1 per cent international students, a number that has been steadily increasing year to year.
Schneider points out there are many diverse reasons young people travel beyond vacationing such as work, school, family, international volunteerism, and medical reasons. The survey, he says, provides participants with the opportunity to communicate that diversity of need and expectations to an industry that will undoubtedly need to pivot to accommodate a changing reality.
“Travel is such a personal activity,” says Schneider.
He hopes that by reaching youth outside of Canada’s largest cities, the survey will better reflect the unique needs and challenges of young people based in smaller communities across the country.
In a written statement, Roger Charles, one of the founders of EBI Consulting points to the importance of youth as ice breakers for the travel and tourism industry.
“Youth and student tourism has always been the trend setter in terms of both style and destination because the young are fearless. Consequently, we believe the young will be the first to venture forth and the industry wants to be ready for that. Where the young go, the older ones will follow. Given that tourism is the largest employer in the world and with a heavy reliance on the young, it is in everyone's interest for the young to start travelling again," he stated.
EBI Consulting is a member group to the World Youth Student Education Travel Confederation, a non-profit group representing the youth, student, and educational travel industry globally.
Youth across Canada are encouraged to participate in the survey here. The survey in ongoing.
Listen to the interview on CFUR-FM: