Summary of our market study

As of 2020 and beyond, the global language travel market, previously valued at USD 9 billion in 2019, exhibits a fragmented landscape due to the diverse options available to consumers. Though a total of 280,000 teenagers embarked on language trips in 2019, the trend for 2020 onward remains to be seen. Preferred destinations for Italian youth have traditionally been English-speaking countries like England, Northern Ireland, and Malta, with interest also growing for French and Spanish, and long-haul destinations such as the United States and Australia being popular as well.

Exploring Language Travel Trends: Italy's Shift Towards Asian Destinations

Key market players in Italy include private agencies like EF, founded in 1965, and the non-profit organization "L'Associazione Intercultura," established in 1955. Notably, there's an emerging trend of diversifying into Asian destinations, with countries like India, Indonesia, Japan, and China gaining traction as language travel options..Language Travel Market Trends in Italy: A Snapshot The Italian market has demonstrated a steady interest in language trips, with a particular inclination towards English-speaking countries. In recent years, there has been a significant upswing in the number of teenagers embarking on these educational journeys. Specifically, the figure stood between 250,000 and 300,000 young individuals choosing to enhance their language skills through travel. England, Northern Ireland, and Malta have emerged as the top destinations for these language learners, indicating a strong preference for English language immersion. Despite the traditional dominance of English, we are observing a growing fascination with other languages, too.

French and Spanish-speaking destinations are seeing a rise in popularity, reflecting a broader linguistic interest among Italian students. Even further afield, English-speaking countries like the United States and Australia remain sought-after choices for those who wish to venture outside of Europe. The market itself is vibrant and diverse, with various organizations catering to these travel experiences. Ranging from private agencies to associations and public entities, the market is notably fragmented. Esteemed operators like "EF" and "L'Associazione Intercultura" stand out due to their long-standing presence and widespread recognition within Italy. Moreover, an emerging trend reflects a pivot towards Asian countries. Agencies are investing in and expanding their offerings to include destinations such as India, Indonesia, Japan, and China. This shows an increasing appetite for linguistic and cultural diversity, beyond the traditionally favored European and Anglophone countries. Expressed in financial terms, as of 2019, the global language travel market had an estimated value between USD 8 and 10 billion, pointing towards the substantial economic significance of this sector. With Italy's contribution to this market and the wide array of choices available to consumers, it's clear that language travel will continue to be a dynamic and evolving field within the country's educational and cultural landscape.

Key Players in the Language Travel Market

  • EF and Intercultura : The language travel market, a dynamic and culturally enriching sector, is characterized by the presence of several prominent and influential organizations. Catering to the growing desire of individuals, particularly teenagers, to enhance their foreign language skills through immersive experiences, two main players stand out in the Italian market: EF Education First and the Intercultura Association.
  • EF Education First: Pioneers in Global Language Education Founded in 1965, EF Education First has established itself as a leading international education company specializing in language training, educational travel, academic degrees, and cultural exchange programs. With a robust network encompassing several countries, EF offers a broad range of language learning opportunities, tailored to meet the diverse needs of its clientele. EF's innovative approach to language travel involves not just classroom learning but a holistic educational experience that combines practical language usage with cultural activities and excursions. This methodology ensures that learners can practice their language skills in real-world settings, allowing for an enriched learning journey.
  • L'Associazione Intercultura: Fostering Cultural Exchange and Understanding On the non-profit front, L'Associazione Intercultura, founded in 1955, is a highly regarded organization with a wealth of experience in student exchange programs. Present in 159 Italian cities, Intercultura has developed a reputation for its commitment to promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding through its language travel opportunities. It provides students with the chance to learn languages by immersing them in different cultural settings, predominantly through host family arrangements. This personal touch not only helps learners to rapidly develop their language capabilities but also to build long-lasting relationships and global awareness.

Both EF Education First and L'Associazione Intercultura have contributed significantly to the shaping of the Italian language travel market. Their distinct approaches to language education—EF with its extensive commercial presence and broad array of courses, and Intercultura with its emphasis on cultural immersion and personal growth—illustrate the multifaceted nature of this industry. As the sector continues to evolve, the adaptability and innovative spirit of these organizations will play a crucial role in meeting the ever-changing demands of language learners.

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1 Market Summary

1.1 Definition and presentation

Language trips are experiences that people, especially teenagers, have ina foreign country withthe purpose of making improvementsor deepen their knowledge of a foreign language,through the tool of cultural immersion. The latter, in fact, along with dedicated language lessons, is able to stimulate greater learning ability. This is an experience that is known to take place during the summer months. During the experience, people can choose from different forms of accommodation, the most popular of which turn out to be staying with a host family and student residences.

In 2019, the global language travel market was worth $8.8 billion and is, to this day, a highly fragmented market given the high variety of choices offered to consumers.

In 2019, respecting the growth trend recorded in previous years as well, a total of 110,000 Italian teenagers undertook a language trip, the vast majority of whom chose an English-speaking country as their destination: in fact, it turns out that England, Northern Ireland and Malta are the favorite destinations for young Italians, with growing interest in French and Spanish cities as well. As for overseas destinations, on the other hand, the most successful countries are the United States or Australia.

The major operators active in the Italian market are dedicated private agencies, associations or public organizations. Among those with the highest level of recognition are "EF," a company founded in 1965 and operating internationally, and L'Associazione Intercultura, an ONLUS founded in 1955 and present in 159 Italian cities.

An emerging trend within the language travel market is certainly that relating to the increase in the variety of choice of destinations that can be reached. Indeed, many agencies and organizations have recently decided to invest significantly in Asian destinations. Among all those that have attracted the most attention from operators are India, Indonesia, Japan and China.

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Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

ACCADEMIA BRITANNICA SERVICES S.R.L.
Inter-studioviaggi S.P.A
WEP Italia
EF Italia

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