For media inquiries about SYTA or the SYTA Youth Foundation, please contact Carylann Assante, CAE, at [email protected].
SYTA background information and executive bios are available in our media kit here.
TravelAdvocates is SYTA's Newest Strategic Partner
The Student & Youth Travel Association is pleased to welcome its newest Strategic Partner. With this commitment TravelAdvocates demonstrates its dedication to the entire student and youth travel community. Click here to read more.
SYTA Youth Foundation & Cash for Kids in NYC
Earlier this month, 25 middle school students from McKeesport, Pennsylvania were selected to participate in a travel experience of a lifetime to New York City hosted by the SYTA Youth Foundation and our NYC partners. Click here to read more.
SYTA Partners with AFEX
SYTA is pleased to announce that we have partnered with AFEX, a leading global foreign exchange specialist, to offer our members strategic and cost-effective solutions for their international payments. Click here to read more.
SYTA News Coverage Excels This Year
News coverage of the Student & Youth Travel Association has taken off this year. Coverage has primarily focused on the release of the Student & Youth Travel Digest, which quantifies the impact of student travel on leadership skills, learning, and job readiness. Click here to read more.
Announcing the 2016-2017 Candidates for SYTA Board of Directors
The Nominating Committee has announced the nominees for the 2016-2017 SYTA Vice President and for the SYTA Board of Directors. Voting opens Wednesday, August 10th and closes Saturday, August 20, at 7 pm Eastern Time. Candidates will be introduced to the membership on Saturday, August 20th, but only Vice President speeches will be given at the 2016 SYTA Annual Conference. Click here for the list of candidates and profile statements.
A link to vote will be sent to the primary contact of each Active and Associate Member company on August 10th. Members can only vote for candidates within their respective membership type. All member companies in good standing are eligible to vote, whether or not the company is represented at the 2016 SYTA Annual Conference.
A nominee may be added to the slate of candidates by submitting a nomination form and an attachment including 20 SYTA member signatures to Lisa Berretta at [email protected] by July 25th for the Nominating Committee to review. There will not be an opportunity to run from the floor at the 2016 SYTA Annual Conference.
For any questions, please contact Lisa Berretta at [email protected] or 703-610-9034.
Tomorrow's Leaders Need to Travel the World Today
Volatile world conditions dictate that our future leaders must have an understanding of diverse cultures, know how to think independently, and exhibit tolerance. A new study for SYTA shows that more than 75% of U.S. teachers believe that when students travel, there is a positive impact on these aspects of a student’s personal development, and more than half believe it has a positive impact on their education and career. Click here to read more.
SYTA Joins the Tourism Cares Community
Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) is pleased to announce their membership with Tourism Cares, the charitable arm of the travel and tourism industry. Tourism Cares brings the entire travel and tourism industry together to make a greater impact on issues that matter to us all, such as investing in emerging tourism destinations or those in crisis, and supporting a strong workforce. Tourism Cares helps the industry make the most of its giving and volunteering, for the benefit of employees, destinations and the traveling public. Click here to read more.
SYTA Youth Foundation Award Applications
We are actively seeking nominees for the 2016 SYTA Youth Foundation's Youth First Award, Youth First International Award, and Visionary Award. Click here to learn more and to apply.
California Coalition of Travel Organizations
In California, SYTA works with the California Coalition of Travel Organizations (CCTO) to address proposed regulations that affect our industry. Members can find a one-page summary of these key issues and the positive outcomes of working together here.
Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board's Get Schooled in the Student Group Tour Market Meeting
The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB), the official tourism promotion agency for Montgomery County, Pa., held a student group focused Tour & Travel Meeting on April 13, 2016 at the Glencairn Museum, located in the Bryn Athyn Historic District. Click here to learn more.
Zika Toolkit from U.S. Travel Association
As the summer travel season approaches, students and their parents may be asking questions about the Zika virus. The U.S. Travel Association has created a Toolkit to address Zika-related questions. The Toolkit delineates ways individuals can be protected from this virus, includes Zika talking points, and sets forth what the experts are saying. Click here to access the U.S. Travel Association Toolkit.
SYTA and SYF Board Nominations Now Open
The time has arrived to ask the SYTA membership to nominate individuals to serve as board members in key leadership positions. It is the perfect time to nominate fellow members whom you believe would make strong contributions to the success of the organization. These individuals will ultimately represent the membership as it continues to grow and prosper. Click here for more information.
Life Skills Program Students Join 2016 Next Generation Program
It was four days that 25 students from Edison High School in Minneapolis, MN will never forget. The trip included an experience with the Busch Gardens Connections Program in Tampa Bay, Florida, leadership and team building lessons, followed by an excursion to the Everglades National Park that was added as part of the National Parks Centennial celebration. Click here for more information.
Florida Attractions 2016 Annual Conference
SYTA Members are invited to register for the Florida Attractions 2016 Annual Conference at a special discounted rate. Offer expires May 6, 2016. More here.
Students are Broadway Bound
The SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF), Hard Rock Cafe Times Square and Disney Theatrical Group hosted deserving students from Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School and New York City's In-School Youth (ISY) Program for lunch and The Lion King, Broadway's Award-Winning Best Musical, on March 2, 2016. For most of these students, this was their first time attending a Broadway show. Click here to read more.
DC Rite of Passage Program is a Success
28 students from McKeesport, PA were selected to participate in a travel experience of a lifetime this past weekend courtesy of the SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF), American Experience Foundation (AEF), and Cash for Kids, the 501(c)(3) founded by WNBA player Swin Cash. Click here to read more.
Zika Virus Alert
SYTA is monitoring developments related to the spread of the Zika virus in the Americas and how it effects our members and their travelers. For the most current information on the Zika virus and how it relates to travel, please refer to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (the “CDC”) website at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/.
Leadership Change at SYTA | January 2016
Andy Davidson, Past President and Nominating Committee Chair announces that the Board of Directors has approved the nomination of Mike Grueninger, Board of Director to fill the vacant Officer position of SYTA Vice President. Dan Kellerd, Explorica resigned from the SYTA Board of Directors with the recent acquisition of Explorica, Inc. by WorldStrides. Click here to learn more.
WorldStrides and Explorica Join Forces | January 2016
WorldStrides, the largest educational travel company in the United States and the leading experiential education provider, has acquired Explorica, Inc. of Boston, Ma. Explorica is one of North America’s premier student travel companies, providing innovative international travel programs for more than 35,000 U.S. and Canadian middle and high school students annually. The company is also a leader in domestic student trips for Canadian students through its Keating-Explorica division. Click here to learn more.
Student Travel & Safety | November 2015
As you know, at SYTA, safety is our first priority. We understand that as of late a few school boards have asked questions about how to keep their students and chaperones as safe as possible while traveling. Over the past 20 years, SYTA with its members, have worked diligently to prepare for the unlikely need to respond to situations or events that may impact the safety of their travelers. Importantly, to date, SYTA has not learned of credible threats that would preclude upcoming student trips to domestic and the most common international destinations. To read SYTA's entire recent statement on student travel and safety click here.
Security Statement | November 15
Today the leadership of ABA, IMG, NTA, SYTA and UMA are coming together to urge all of our members to be vigilant and once again increase our industry’s level of awareness; as well as report to law enforcement officials anything that may appear unusual. Be proactive. If you, your employees or your passengers see something, say something. Call 911. Read the joint security statement in full here.
Student & Youth Travel Safety Resource Guide Now Available | November 2015
SYTA developed the Safety Resource Guide (SRG) to provide SYTA Tour Operator members with ideas for addressing many of the challenges associated with traveling students and youth. This document is not intended to be a set of rules and procedures, but to provide thought-provoking ideas and concepts that may be helpful in the development of a Tour Operator’s own operating and risk management procedures tailored specifically for their organization and client base. Ultimately, SYTA’s goal in providing this guide is to help improve student travel safety.
President's Letter | November 2015
November is the month during which many focus on what they are thankful for. I am so honored and thankful to be leading a board, staff and membership who are bright, talented, engaged and committed to the long-term growth of our association. Read more.
Student and Youth Travel Research | September 2015
SYTA Annual Conference attendees who received a sampling of the initial findings of the student and youth travel research results liked what they saw. Read more.
Prepping for the Papal Visit | September 2015
Pope Francis will visit the United States, September 22-27, with a stop in New York City. Click here to view a message from NYC & Company regarding the historical event.
DC Backyard Bound Program | May 2015
For the second year, the SYTA Youth Foundation has partnered with Destination DC's philanthropic arm, American Experience Foundation, to invest in local D.C. students through the DC Backyard Bound Program. Thirty eighth-grade students from Charles Hart Middle School, located in the Washington, D.C., metro area, will participate in the program on May 6, 2015. This one-day experience will give deserving students the opportunity to experience some of Washington, D.C.'s iconic sites and attractions.
We extend a special thank you to the following partners for making this program possible: Bob Rogers Travel, Academy Bus, Hard Rock Cafe, Newseum, and Spy Museum.
DC Rite of Passage 8th Grade Fieldtrip | March 2015
SYTA Youth Foundation and the American Experience Foundation Provide a Silver Lining to 31 Deserving Students. Thirty-one deserving eighth-grade students from Sto-Rox Middle School recently returned home to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania having been forever changed by an incredible educational experience in Washington, D.C.
President's Letter | March 2015
Dear SYTA Members, On behalf of the SYTA board of directors I’d like to welcome you to March. While most of the country is beneath an unprecedented deep freeze, we at SYTA are plowing through full force on our strategic initiatives under the strong leadership and direction of Carylann Assante. Since I last communicated with you in January, the association has seen some exciting updates that I wanted you to be aware of. Read more.
President's Letter | January 2015
Dear SYTA Members, I would be remiss if I did not offer my thanks for the warm reception each of you extended to me and my wife at our 2014 Conference in Toronto. Stepping up to be the elected leader of this association has been a little daunting at times, but it’s a path I felt obligated to take out of respect for all that SYTA does to promote the development and growth of the student travel market... Read more.
SYTA's Participation with International Associations
SYTA's International Committee included in its objectives, SYTA’s support for the Ten Point Plan that was approved by the BOD two years ago. As part of that plan, SYTA will work with allied associations to support global student travel. This international participation also supports SYTA’s mission to be the “Voice of Student Travel”. Read more.
Flying with Students and Instruments?
New Rules Take Effect March 6, 2015.
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently released new rules that will take effect in March regarding United States airlines’ obligation to accept musical instruments as carry-on or checked baggage. The guidelines require that airlines accept instruments as checked baggage to be stored in cargo compartments, provided the instruments conform to size and weight limitations established in FAA safety regulations. Click here to read more about this new policy.
DC Backyard Bound Program a Success
With the help from the SYTA Youth Foundation and other partners, Destination DC hosted inaugural DC Backyard Bound Program, June 13, 2014. Forty students from Kelly Miller Middle School in the Washington, D.C., metro area were selected as the first recipients of the DC Backyard Bound program and granted a one-day field trip to experience some of D.C.'s iconic sites and attractions. Read more.
In December, 2013, United Airlines joined the ranks of major U.S. carriers that make destination-based travel more challenging—perhaps even impossible—for some student and youth travelers. How? By quietly changing its Unaccompanied Minor policy. United's policy change requires unaccompanied children ages five to eleven, and youth ages twelve to seventeen whose guardians choose to use the Unaccompanied Minor service, to take direct flights only, with a $150 fee. Read more here.
SYTA Youth Foundation donates $15,000 to help save student trip to Space Camp
The SYTA Youth Foundation (SYF) announced today that they will provide a $15,000 grant to St. Albert Public Schools to help restore the funds needed for 71 students/chaperones to take a trip of a lifetime to Space Camp in Montreal – a trip which has been put in jeopardy as the result of a travel company's financial insolvency. Read more here.
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