Washington D.C. Student Travelers

Part
01
of five
Part
01

US School Groups Traveling to Washington, D.C.

In order to determine the number of U.S. student groups that have traveled to Washington, D.C. with schools in the past three years, information was first gathered pertaining to total tourists to Washington, D.C. The most recently published reports by Destination D.C. are from 2014, 2015, and 2016, and thus will be used in this report, as well as the estimated values for 2017. These reports, however, did not break down what percentage of tourists to D.C. were student travelers, and in turn, no information from these reports was present on what percentage of student travelers were traveling specifically with school organizations. As a result, further research was conducted to find other previously compiled reports regarding student traveler statistics.

Two industry-type reports from 2003 and 2014 both stated the same statistic regarding student travelers: around one-fifth (20%) of all tourists are student travelers, and in coming years, it is expected that student travelers will make up around 25% of all tourists. The report from 2014 further stated that in the 1990s, student travelers made up around 15% of all global tourists, and this percentage proceeded to grow to 20% in the 2000s. Consequently, since student tourism has seen a steady growth rate every decade, the statistic stating that 25% of tourists are student travelers, was used to calculate what percentage of tourists to Washington, D.C. were student travelers over the past three years (2014 – 2016, and estimated for 2017).

To further break down what percentage of student travelers to Washington, D.C. were traveling with school-organized programs, two reports regarding educational group travel in the U.S. were used. Both of these reports were compiled based on the same sets of data — which was gathered between August 2013 and November 2015 — and focused on how many teachers in the U.S. plan class trips. A total of 1,432 U.S. teachers were included in this study, 30% of which reported organizing school trips; Washington, D.C. was reported to be the most preferred destination by teachers when planning class trips. Because this was the most recently available report pertaining to student-group travels, this information was used to calculate how many U.S. student groups traveled to Washington, D.C. with school-organized programs over the past three years.

2014

According to Destination D.C., in 2014, a total of 20.2 million visitors of all types on a global scale came to Washington, D.C. Of these visitors, 18.3 million of them were domestic visitors already from the United States. According to the reports from 2003 and 2014, it is estimated that 25% of all tourists are student travelers. Based on this, it can be calculated that around 4.575 million tourists to Washington, D.C. in 2014 were student travelers.

[18,300,000 domestic visitors to D.C. in 2014] * [25% students] = 4,575,000 students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2014

Between 2013 and 2015, an average of 30% of U.S. teachers organized domestic school trips. Due to the lack of information that explicitly stated how many schools organized trips to Washington, D.C., this information is used to calculate what percentage of the trips to Washington, D.C. were organized by schools in the U.S. By understanding that about 4.575 million U.S. students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2014, and around 30% of teachers organize school trips, then we can assume that about 30% of the students that traveled to D.C. were on class trips. With respect to this, the calculation below estimates that approximately 1.3725 million students traveled to Washington, D.C. through school-organized programs in 2014.

[4,575,000 student travelers to D.C. in 2014] * [30% organized by schools] = 1,372,500 students traveled with schools to Washington, D.C. in 2014

2015

Destination D.C. calculated that, in 2015, there were a total of 21.3 million visitors to Washington, D.C. of all types on a global scale. Of these visitors, 19.3 million were domestic travelers. By again estimating that student travelers make up about 25% of all tourists, it can again be calculated that approximately 4.825 million visitors to Washington, D.C. in 2015 were student travelers.

[19.3 million domestic visitors to D.C. in 2015] * [25% students] = 4,825,000 students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2015

Once again using the fact that 30% of teachers organized class trips between 2013 and 2015, the number of student travelers that went to Washington, D.C. in 2015 with schools can be calculated. Since about 4.825 million of the travelers to D.C. in 2015 were students, and 30% of these students likely traveled on class trips, then it can be estimated that around

[4,825,000 student travelers to D.C. in 2015] * [30% organized by schools] = 1,447,500 students traveled with schools to Washington, D.C. in 2015

Based on the calculated data from 2014, there was about a 5.46% increase in student travelers to Washington, D.C. with school-organized programs between 2014 and 2015.

[1,447,500 student travelers to D.C. with schools in 2015] — [1,372,500 student travelers to D.C. with schools in 2014] = 75,000 increase in student travelers to D.C. with schools between 2014 and 2015

[75,000 student increase in 2015] / [1,372,500 student travelers with schools in 2014] = [0.0546] * [100%] = 5.46% increase in student travelers with schools between 2014 and 2015

2016

In 2016, Destination D.C. calculated that there were a total of 22.0 million visitors on a global scale to Washington, D.C. Of these visitors, 20.0 million were domestic travelers. Assuming that 25% of tourists are student travelers, then around 5 million of all tourists to D.C. in 2016 were students.

[20,000,000 domestic visitors to D.C. in 2016] * [25% students] = 5,000,000 students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2016

By further assuming that about 30% of student travelers are from school-organized trips, then it can be estimated that about 1.5 million students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2016 through school-organized programs.

[5,000,000 student travelers to D.C. in 2016] * [30% organized by schools] = 1,500,000 students traveled with schools to Washington, D.C. in 2016

Between 2015 and 2016, this represents a growth of 52,500 students traveling to Washington, D.C. with schools, or 3.63%.

[1,500,000 student travelers to D.C. with schools in 2016] — [1,447,500 student travelers to D.C. with schools in 2015] = 52,500 increase in student travelers to D.C. with schools between 2015 and 2016

[52,500 student increase in 2016] / [1,447,500 student travelers with schools in 2015] = [0.0363] * [100%] = 3.63% increase in student travelers with schools between 2015 and 2016

2017 Estimate

Destination D.C. will not be releasing their report on visitors to Washington, D.C. in 2017 until Fall 2018. However, within their 2016 report, they did state that they are expecting total visitors (global and domestic) to increase by 2% to 3% every year. As a result, the 2016 report calculates that in 2017, at least 22.6 million visitors will have visited D.C. in 2017.

In 2014, approximately 90.59% of visitors to Washington, D.C. were domestic travelers. In 2015, this percentage remained stable, with 90.61% of tourists to D.C. being domestic travelers. In 2016, this percentage rose by 0.3% to 90.91% of all travelers to Washington, D.C. being domestic travelers.

[18,300,000 domestic visitors in 2014] / [20,200,000 total visitors in 2014] = [0.9059] * [100%] = 90.59% of visitors to Washington, D.C. in 2014 were domestic tourists

[19,300,000 domestic visitors in 2015] / [21,300,000 total visitors in 2015] = [0.9061] * [100%] = 90.61% of visitors to Washington, D.C. in 2015 were domestic tourists

[20,000,000 domestic visitors in 2016] / [22,000,000 total visitors in 2016] = [0.9091] * [100%] = 90.91% of visitors to Washington, D.C. in 2016 were domestic tourists

From these calculations, it is visible that the percentage of travelers to Washington, D.C. that are domestic travelers remains relatively stable, around 91%. As a result, this percentage can be used to calculate that, with an estimated 22.6 million total travelers to D.C. in 2017, about 20.566 million would have been domestic tourists.

[22,600,000 estimated total travelers to D.C. in 2017] * [91% domestic] = 20,566,000 estimated domestic travelers to D.C. in 2017

Furthermore, by again assuming that 25% of tourists are students and 30% of students traveled with schools, then of the 20.566 million domestic travelers to D.C. in 2017, approximately 5.1415 million of these tourists were students, about 1,542,450 of the students were traveling with school-organized programs.

[20,566,000 estimated domestic travelers to D.C. in 2017] * [25% students] = 5,141,500 estimated students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2017

[5,141,500 estimated students in 2017] * [30% organized by schools] = 1,542,450 estimated students traveled with schools to Washington, D.C. in 2017

If this trend holds true, then between 2016 and 2017, there will have been an increase of about 2.83% in U.S. student travelers with schools to Washington, D.C.

[1,542,450 estimated student travelers to D.C. with schools in 2017] — [1,500,000 student travelers to D.C. with schools in 2016] = 42,450 increase in student travelers to Washington, D.C. with schools in 2017

[42,450 student increase in 2017] / [1,500,000 student travelers with schools in 2016] = [0.0283] * [100%] = 2.83% increase in student travelers with schools between 2016 and 2017

Group Sizes and Trip Duration

The reports that gathered information from schools between 2013 and 2015 also included information on average trip duration and the number of students that attended these trips. The average duration of multi-day trips of U.S. students from public and private schools was about 3.8 days. Although not specific to class trips to Washington, D.C., because these reports stated that Washington, D.C. was the most popular destination and continued to provide average numbers, this information is included below:

1-day domestic trips:
— Public and private: 61 students
— Public only: 62 students
— Private only: 45 students

— Public and private: 43 students
— Public only: 44 students
— Private only: 33 students

Conclusion

Due to the lack of reports that explicitly stated how many U.S. students traveled to Washington, D.C. over the past three years with school-organized programs, the information had to be gathered and calculated across multiple sources. Destination D.C. provided information on total tourists to Washington, D.C. in 2014, 2015, and 2016, as well as estimates for coming years. Sources from 2003 and 2014 both estimated that students make up around 25% of all tourists, and information gathered from teachers and educational institutions between 2013 and 2015 showed that, of student travelers, approximately 30% are traveling on school-organized trips. Through simply manipulation of this information, the number of students that traveled to Washington, D.C. was able to be calculated, in addition to an estimate for 2017. From these calculations, it can be seen that the number of student travelers to D.C. with schools increases between 4% and 5% every year, even though Destination D.C. calculates increases of only 2% to 3% on a yearly basis.
Part
02
of five
Part
02

International School Groups Traveling to Washington, D.C.

In the last four years (2014 - 2017), an estimated 1.98 million visitors to Washington DC were international students on school trips. These numbers have grown over this period, with the largest growth seen between 2014 and 2015, and the least growth shown over 2015 to 2016. The average group size for school-organized programs is 27 students, and Washington DC is the fourth most-popular destination for these kinds of trips. Students most often travel from China, the UK, Germany, France, Australia, and India.


METHODOLOGY & FINDINGS

In order to determine the number of international student groups that have traveled to Washington, D.C. with school-organized programs in the past three years, the same process that was used to calculate the number U.S. students that traveled to D.C. with school groups was used once again. Information from Destination D.C. was available for the years of 2014, 2015, and 2016, as well as an estimate for 2017. Because these reports do not break down the percentage of tourists that are students, the industry reports from 2003 and 2014 that were utilized in the previous request for U.S. school groups were once again utilized, with the overall idea that around 25% of all tourists on a global scale are students. Please note that this figure is from 2014 (which is a bit dated by Wonder's standards), but as the most-recently-available statistic on this, we felt it the best option to use for these calculations.

Upon searching for information regarding the percentage or number of international students that were traveling with school-organized programs, there was no information publicly available that contained this exact information. The Student & Youth Travel Digest reports with data gathered between 2013 and 2015 stated that approximately 64% of international students traveled to the U.S. with school groups, but with no specification on how many traveled to Washington, D.C. specifically. These reports did state that Washington, D.C. was the fourth most popular place for international students to travel in the U.S., and further provided the purpose of travel for these students. By following the same process used in the request for U.S. student school groups, a general estimate for the number of international students that traveled to Washington, D.C. over the past three years can be calculated.

Information regarding the purpose of these students' travel, as well as group demographics, locations of origin, and average trip duration are included in the findings below.

2014

NUMBER OF TRAVELERS
According to Destination D.C., as previously stated in the previous request titled "US School Groups Traveling to Washington, D.C.," a total of 20.2 million visitors traveled to Washington D.C. in 2014 on a global scale. Of these visitors, 1.9 million were international visitors in 2014. As explained in the previous request, approximately 25% of all tourists are students. As a result, it can be calculated that around 475,000 international students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2014.

[1,900,000 international visitors to D.C. in 2014] * [25% students] = 475,000 international students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2014


GROUP DEMOGRAPHICS
According to the Destination D.C. report from 2014, the top 10 countries of origin that international travelers came from are listed below with their respective number of travelers. Since students are estimated to make up around 25% of all tourists, a calculation will be included for each country of origin to estimate how many international students traveled to Washington, D.C. from each country in 2014.

[221,000 total] * [25% students] = 55,250 students

[183,000 total] * [25% students] = 45,750 students

[130,000 total] * [25% students] = 32,500 students

[117,000 total] * [25% students] = 29,250 students

[86,000 total] * [25% students] = 21,500 students

[80,000 total] * [25% students] = 20,000 students

[78,000 total] * [25% students] = 19,500 students

[77,000 total] * [25% students] = 19,250 students

[75,000 total] * [25% students] = 18,750 students

[63,000 total] * [25% students] = 15,750 students

2015

NUMBER OF TRAVELERS
The 2015 report from Destination D.C. regarding travelers to Washington, D.C. stated that there were a total of 21.3 million visitors to D.C. on a global scale. International travelers made up a total of 2 million of these travelers in 2015. Assuming that 25% of all tourists are students, then approximately 500,000 international students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2015. This represents a growth of 14.29% in international students that traveled to Washington, D.C. between 2014 and 2015.

[2,000,000 international visitors to D.C. in 2015] * [25% students] = 500,000 international students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2015

[500,000 international students in 2015] — [475,000 international students in 2014] = 25,000 increase in international travelers in 2015

[25,000 increase in 2015] / [475,000 international students in 2014] = [0.1429] * [100%] = 14.29% increase from 2014 to 2015


GROUP DEMOGRAPHICS
According to the Destination D.C. report from 2015, the top 10 countries of origin that international travelers came from are listed below with their respective number of travelers. Since students are estimated to make up around 25% of all tourists, a calculation will be included for each country of origin to estimate how many international students traveled to Washington, D.C. from each country in 2015.

[300,000 total] * [25% students] = 75,000 students

[201,000 total] * [25% students] = 50,250 students

[132,000 total] * [25% students] = 33,000 students

[101,000 total] * [25% students] = 25,250 students

[93,000 total] * [25% students] = 23,250 students

[80,000 total] * [25% students] = 20,000 students

[77,000 total] * [25% students] = 19,250 students

[76,000 total] * [25% students] = 19,000 students

[67,000 total] * [25% students] = 16,750 students

[66,000 total] * [25% students] = 16,500 students

2016

The Destination D.C. report from 2016 states that there were a total of 22 million tourists in Washington, D.C. from around the world. Of these visitors, 2 million were international travelers, just like in 2015. Assuming that 25% of all tourists are students, approximately 500,000 of the international tourists in Washington D.C. in 2016 were students. Based on this data, there was no growth in international students that traveled to Washington, D.C. between 2015 and 2016.

[2,000,000 total international visitors to D.C. in 2016] * [25% students] = 500,000 international students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2016


GROUP DEMOGRAPHICS
According to the Destination D.C. report from 2016, the top 10 countries of origin that international travelers came from are listed below with their respective number of travelers. Since students are estimated to make up around 25% of all tourists, a calculation will be included for each country of origin to estimate how many international students traveled to Washington, D.C. from each country in 2016.

[304,000 total] * [25% students] = 76,000 students

[199,000 total] * [25% students] = 49,750 students

[145,000 total] * [25% students] = 36,250 students

[103,000 total] * [25% students] = 25,750 students

[100,000 total] * [25% students] = 25,000 students

[93,000 total] * [25% students] = 23,250 students

[81,000 total] * [25% students] = 20,250 students

[62,000 total] * [25% students] = 15,500 students

[62,000 total] * [25% students] = 15,500 students

[58,000 total] * [25% students] = 14,500 students

2017 Estimate

In the 2016 report released by Destination D.C., it is estimated that there will have been a total of 22.6 million tourists to Washington, D.C. in 2017. As previously calculated in the U.S. school groups request, based on the percentage of domestic travelers to D.C. between 2014 and 2016, it was calculated that an expected 20,566,000 domestic travelers would have visited Washington, D.C. in 2017. This, in turn, means that the remaining 2,034,000 travelers to D.C. in 2017 would be international travelers.

[22,600,000 total expected visitors in 2017] — [20,566,000 estimated domestic visitors in 2017] = 2,034,000 estimated international travelers to Washington, D.C. in 2017

Following the statement that assumes that 25% of all tourists are students, of the 2.034 million estimated international tourists to Washington, D.C. in 2017, around 508,500 were international students.

[2,034,000 estimated international visitors in 2017] * [25% students] = 508,500 estimated international students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2017

Due to the randomness in countries of origin between 2014 and 2016, is it not possible accurately calculate or assume what percentage of international travelers and students came from what countries. However, for 2014, 2015, and 2016, visitors from China were the most prevalent, followed by the United Kingdom and then by Germany. As a result, it is likely that this same pattern followed for 2017, but the data will not be publicly available until Fall 2018.

Group Sizes, Trip Duration, AND trip purpose

Due to the lack of information available regarding international students that traveled to Washington, D.C. specifically with school-organized programs, the group sizes and trip duration are generalized for all international student travel to the United States. Data gathered between 2013 and 2015 states that, of all international students that travel abroad, approximately 64% travel to the United States. Washington, D.C. is the fourth most popular destination of these international students, but no other information regarding this location is available.

The majority of trips made by international students take place between June and July, and last an average of 18 days. The average group size of international students that travel to the U.S. through school-organized programs is around 27 students.

PURPOSE OF TRAVEL
According to the Student & Youth Travel Digest from 2013-2015, approximately 85% of international students travel to the U.S. for educational purposes. Again, this is focused on the U.S. as a whole, as no information was specifically available for Washington, D.C. The percentage of students that travel to the U.S. with specific purposes are as follows:

— Language: 66%
— Themed tours related to curriculum: 57%
— Experience, immersion, and adventure: 29%
— Performance groups: 21%
— Recreation, holidays, and spring breaks: 20%
— Sports trips: 19%
— Themed entertainment sights and parks: 18%
— Visiting partner schools, colleges, and companies: 14%

Conclusion

Due to the lack of information that specifically stated how many international students are traveling to Washington, D.C. through school-organized programs, the information provided above is more generalized for the total number of international students that have traveled to D.C. over the past 3 years. This information was calculated using a combination of data from Destination D.C., as well as the idea that around 25% of all tourists are students, as stated in multiple reports. The majority of international students are traveling to Washington, D.C. from China, the U.K., and Germany, but France, Australia, and India follow close behind. The overall rate of growth for international students traveling to the U.S. is variable, as visible from the major growth rate between 2014 and 2015, and the lack of growth between 2015 and 2016. Although the number of visitors from some international countries continues to increase year-after-year, other countries have also seen stable and randomized increases and decreases. Based on the total growth rate of global tourists to Washington, D.C., it is likely that number international students that travel to D.C. will grow in coming years, but the rate at which they come is difficult to determine.
Part
03
of five
Part
03

US Student Groups Traveling to Washington, D.C.

In 2014, 3,202,500 students in the United States traveled to D.C. in 2014 by non-school means, a figure which increased to 3,377,500 students in 2015. In 2016, there were 3.5 million U.S. students who traveled to D.C., while it is estimated that 3,599,050 U.S. students took trips to Washington, D.C. apart from school-organized programs in 2017. Overall, it is estimated that approximately 30% of these students are traveling through school-organized programs, and the remaining 70% are traveling outside of these programs. Below you will find a deep dive of our findings, as well as a discussion of our methodology and calculations.

METHODOLOGY

In working to determine the number of U.S. students that have traveled to Washington, D.C. in the past three years through non-school related programs, information was first gathered regarding total travelers to Washington, D.C. in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The number of U.S. students that were traveling to D.C. were calculated in a previous request, titled "US School Groups Traveling to Washington, D.C." based on the fact that approximately 25% of all tourists are students, as stated across multiple sources. After obtaining this information, which will be detailed below, searches were completed to try to identify what percentage of these students were traveling outside of school groups. Although there was more recently available information for those traveling through school-organized programs, the most recent information regarding individual student travelers is from 2003. However, since reports from 2013-2015 stated that approximately 30% of domestic U.S. student travels were carried out by teachers and educational institutions, then the conclusion can be drawn that the remaining 70% of students are traveling outside of class trips. As a result, the calculations below will assume that 70% of U.S. student travelers to Washington, D.C. in the past 3 years traveled through non-school means.

2014

As stated in the previous request for U.S. school groups, there were a total of 4,575,000 domestic student travelers to Washington, D.C. in 2014. Since 30% of these students traveled to D.C. on school-organized trips, then the remaining 70% were students traveling to D.C. by other means, whether on their own, through non-profits, or some other non-school group. With respect to this conclusion, approximately 3,202,500 U.S. students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2014 outside of school-organized programs.

[4,575,000 U.S. student travelers in 2014] * [70% through non-school means] = 3,202,500 U.S. students traveled to D.C. in 2014 by non-school means

2015

According to the previous request about U.S. student travelers,
4,825,000 U.S. students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2015. Assuming that 70% of these students traveled outside of school-organized programs or groups, it can be calculated that around 3,377,500 U.S. students traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2015 apart from school-organized programs. Between 2014 and 2015, this represents a growth rate of 5.46%, or a total of 175,000 U.S. student travelers to D.C. outside of school-related programs.

[4,825,000 U.S. student travelers in 2015] * [70% through non-school means] = 3,377,500 U.S. students traveled to D.C. in 2015 by non-school means

[3,377,500 U.S. student travelers outside of school in 2015] — [3,202,500 U.S. student travelers outside of school in 2014] = 175,000 increase in non-school U.S. student travelers to D.C. in 2015

[175,000 increase in 2015] / [3,202,500 U.S. student travelers outside of school in 2014] = [0.0546] * [100%] = 5.46% increase

2016

Following this same trend, in 2016 there were a total of 5 million U.S. student travelers to Washington, D.C. Of these students, 70% traveled through non-school related programs or means, amount to a total of 3.5 million U.S. students that traveled to D.C. in 2016 outside of school-related programs. Between 2015 and 2016, this represents a growth rate of 3.63%, or a total of 122,500 non-school student travelers to D.C.

[5,000,000 U.S. student travelers in 2016] * [70% through non-school means] = 3,500,000 U.S. students traveled to D.C. in 2016 by non-school means

[3,500,000 U.S. student travelers outside of school in 2016] — [3,377,500 U.S. student travelers outside of school in 2015] = 122,500 increase in non-school U.S. student travelers to D.C. in 2016

[122,500 increase in 2016] / [3,377,500 U.S. student travelers outside of school in 2015] = [0.0363] * [100%] = 3.63% increase

2017 Estimate

As stated in the previous U.S. student travelers request, Destination D.C. expected a total of 22.6 million travelers to Washington, D.C. in 2017. Based on calculations from 2014 to 2016, it was estimated that 91% of these travelers would be domestic U.S. persons, and 5,141,500 would specifically be U.S. students that were traveling to Washington, D.C. in 2017. By following the assumption that 70% of student travelers are taking trips outside of school-related programs, then in 2017, it can be estimated that around 3,599,050 U.S. students took trips to Washington, D.C. apart from school-organized programs.

[5,141,500 estimated U.S. students in 2017] * [70% through non-school means] = 3,599,050 estimated U.S. students traveled to D.C. in 2017 outside of school-related programs

Should this be the case, then between 2016 and 2017, there would be a growth rate of 2.83% in U.S. non-school-related student travelers to the area

[3,599,050 estimated U.S. students outside of school in 2017] — [3,500,000 U.S. student travelers outside of school in 2016] = 99,050 increase between 2016 and 2017

[99,050 estimated increase in 2017] / [3,500,000 U.S. student travelers outside of school in 2016] = [0.0283] * [100%] = 2.83% increase

Non-School vs. School Groups

Due to the limited availability of data pertaining to student travelers to Washington, D.C. over the past three years, the only stable fact that can be drawn between U.S. students that are traveling to Washington, D.C. is that approximately 30% of these students are traveling through school-organized programs, and as a result, the remaining 70% are traveling outside of these programs. This fact was concluded based on the Student & Youth Travel Digest reports that compiled data between August 2013 and November 2015. Within this report, teachers stated that Washington, D.C. was their top preference for student trips.

Conclusion

Because of the lack of reports that directly stated what percentage of U.S. student travelers were taking trips to Washington, D.C. apart from school-organized programs, the only viable option to was conclude that, if 30% of U.S. students travelers are on class trips, then the remaining 70% must be through some other form. Based on this conclusion, U.S. student travelers that are taking trips to Washington, D.C. apart from school-organized programs are more abundant than those attending class trips. No recent information was present on the group sizes of these U.S. non-school-related student travelers, but the trend showing an increase in U.S. school-related student travelers is also present for U.S. students that travel outside of school. Destination D.C. estimates that total tourists will increase between 2% and 3% on a yearly basis, but according to the calculations above, it is likely that the percentage of both school groups and non-school group U.S. student travelers are increasing at higher rates of 4% to 5% every year, and this trend is likely to continue in coming years.
Part
04
of five
Part
04

Student / Youth Tour Accommodations

When it comes to planning out travels made by international and U.S. students, students and educational institutions alike turn to resources such as tour companies, third-party websites, social media, and general internet searches. Information was not specific to travelers that are going to Washington, D.C., but rather was available on a broader scale and broken down into resources used by students versus teachers, and even further by specific age groups. As a result, this information will be provided below, with relative percentages of what resources are used by what groups of people when it comes to planning student and youth travels, whether for school-organized trips or other travels made by students. Additionally, statistics on general hotel demands specific to Washington, D.C. in 2016 will be provided, as well as general processes for planning trips and accommodations when carried out through educational institutions. Due to the lack of more recent information, a few statistics from 2003 will be included, to act as a comparison of growth in the use of certain resources for travel accommodations and information. Although this information is not necessarily specific to student travels to Washington, D.C., the content below could be applied toward trips to D.C., especially considering that a majority of teachers in 2015 reported that their number one destination for class trips was Washington, D.C.

Resources Used Specifically by Students: 2003

In 2003, 71% of student travelers that were planning trips on their own reported utilizing the internet as their primary resource for trip information. Family and friends were also reported as a source for trip information by 70% of respondents in 2003. Guidebooks were reported as a tool for trip accommodations and plans by students who had taken trips before, with 50% of previous student travelers claiming to use them for information.

For students under the age of 26, family and friends, the internet, travel agencies, and guidebooks were the most widely used resources for trip information. Students over the age of 26 utilized these same resources, but guidebooks and experience from previous travels were more popular than the use of travel agencies for information. 65% of students that were flying to a destination also reported using a travel agent to book flights, with only 10% of students in 2003 using the internet to book flights online.

Resources used Specifically by students: 2009-2014

In a report released in 2014, students ranging in age from 15 to 65 and up (from the Mature generation to Generation Z) were asked what the first resource is that they turn to when searching for travel information. Of the students included in this study, the demographics were as follows:

Generation Z (less than 20 years old): 7%

From these groups of students, the breakdown of primary resources initially used when searching for travel information were as follows in 2014:

— Internet on tablets/tablet apps: 13.3%

The age groups that utilized smartphones and smartphone apps as their primary resource when initially searching for travel information and accommodations were further broken down as follows:


When it came to actually booking trips, however, around 80% of these students reported utilizing tour operators and travel agencies to complete their accommodations and itineraries.

According to the Youth Travel Accommodations reports that collected data between 2009 and 2013, third-party websites are becoming more important for student bookers, with 29% of students utilizing such sites as their primary source for booking hostels. 20% of students also utilized emails directly with hotels to plan trips, followed by 18% of students that book hotels and accommodations directly through an accommodation's website.

Social media channels such as Facebook are becoming more prominent for students looking for suggestions, with 25% of respondents in 2009 reporting utilizing this as a source for recommendations on accommodations. In 2010, slightly over one-fourth of respondents reported utilizing third-party websites to book hostels, and this number grew to 30% by 2013. Hostelworld and Booking.com were reported to be the most popular third-party sites for booking hotels and hostels in 2013. These sites, in addition to Hostelbookers, were also the most widely-used travel agents by youth and student travelers searching for travel accommodations in 2013, accounting for a total of 70% of all third-party online booking sites used by students.

Resources Used Specifically by Teachers

Between August 2013 and November 2015, 30% of teachers reported organizing two or more class trips for their students. 77% of these teachers also reported that they were primarily responsible for the majority of the planning process, and 44% reported that the actual bookings are handled by tour operators. Responsibilities of teachers when it comes to planning class trips heavily included selecting programs and destinations, selecting tour operators, and planning out the initial process for class trips. Tour operators then proceed to arrange for trip insurance and bookings for transportation and other accommodations.

According to the Student & Youth Travel Digest, 75% of teachers prefer booking hotels for class trips. For domestic trips specifically, hotels are most often chosen whenever the trips are 3-4 days long, which is around 91% of total domestic trips. Mid-scale (45%) and moderate hotels (35%) are the most preferred hotel categories chosen by teachers that are preparing hotel accommodations for student travels.

Process Used by Teachers for Planning Trips

As teachers are responsible for a majority of general trip planning for class trips, much of the process that involves the resources used above are utilized by teachers. In 2014, 93% of teachers reported being responsible for initiating class trips and choosing programs/destinations. 69% of teachers further reported being responsible for then choosing students and teachers to attend the trip, followed by 67% of teachers being responsible for handling the specific goals and general trip itineraries. To handle the details of accommodations and excursions, 54% of teachers report being responsible for choosing tour operators, 44% of which then proceed to handle all trip bookings.

For U.S. student travelers attending trips booked by teachers, the preparation and booking times in 2015 were as follows:

Preparation time:

Booking time:

General Hotel Demand in Washington, D.C.

According to Destination D.C.'s report from 2016, the average daily rate of hotels in Washington, D.C. was approximately $224/night, with an average daily occupancy rate of 78%. The demand for hotels in D.C. has been highest in October from every year from 2007 to 2016 and was on track to follow this same trend in 2017. The second highest month for hotel demand in D.C. has been March throughout this same time period.

The lowest months for hotel demand in Washington, D.C. for all years from 2007 up to 2016 have been December and January. Hotel demand in Washington, D.C. grows between the months of January and March and then remains relatively high and stable between March and July every year, with a small decrease between July and August every year. Demand then increases until October, after which it proceeds to decrease through December.

Conclusion

Between 2003 and 2015, the use of technology has seen an increase as a primary resource for finding information on trips and bookings, across both individual student travelers and teachers planning class trips. This trend leads to the expectation that the use of technology for planning trips and finding accommodations will only continue to increase in coming years. However, the use of tour and travel agencies has remained present over time, especially for large groups traveling together, since it can be difficult to book large groups at the same time without the help of these organizations. The rates for hotels in D.C. have risen every year, with a majority of bookings taking place online through third-party websites. Although the available information is generalized for U.S. student travels, this data could absolutely be applied to students traveling to Washington, D.C.
Part
05
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Part
05

Student Groups Traveling to Washington, D.C.

The reports used to compile the information below have been previously detailed in other requests, each pertaining specifically to students that have traveled to Washington, D.C. in the past years from the following groups: U.S. school groups, international school groups, and U.S. non-school groups. In addition to the number of student travelers from these groups, the accommodations and resources utilized by such individuals and groups were detailed in the request for student/youth tour accommodations.

This write-up will provide a brief, overall summary of the key takeaways from each of the reports listed above. Data will be listed for total number of student travelers to Washington, D.C. for each group of students for the years of 2014, 2015, and 2016, as well as estimates for 2017. For more details and calculation steps, please see each request individually.

U.S. School Groups Traveling to Washington, D.C.

U.S. student travelers in the U.S. made up about 30% of all student travels between the years of 2013 and 2015. The total number of U.S. student travelers to Washington, D.C. in 2014 that traveled through school-related programs was 1,372,500 students. By 2015, the number of U.S. students traveling through school-related programs to Washington, D.C. increased by 5.46% to 1,447,500 total students. In 2016, it was calculated that U.S. students of the same type that traveled to Washington, D.C. amounted to 1.5 million, representing a 3.63% increase from 2015.

Although the report for total tourists to Washington, D.C. in 2017 will not be released until fall 2018, Destination D.C. — which provided total tourist statistics for the other years listed — estimated that there would be a total of 22.6 million tourists to Washington, D.C. in 2017. Based on the information calculated from 2014, 2015, and 2016, domestic U.S. travelers to D.C. make up around 91% of total tourists, and students make up 25% of all tourists. As a result, calculations showed that there was likely around 1,542,450 U.S. student travelers to Washington, D.C. in 2017, representing an approximate 2.83% increase from 2016. The average trip duration was approximately 3.8 days, with 1-day trips averaging around 61 students, and multi-day trips holding around 43 students from public and private schools.

International School Groups Traveling to the United States

Information specific to international students traveling to Washington, D.C. was not publicly available. Reports stated that 64% of international students travel to the United States on school-organized trips, and that Washington, D.C. was the fourth most popular destination of their travels. However, no further details were available. The only data that proved helpful in calculating the number of international students that traveled Washington, D.C. was the point that approximately 25% of tourists are students. This information was thus used to estimate the number of international students that traveled to Washington, D.C. over the past three years.

In 2014, there were approximately 475,000 international students that traveled to Washington, D.C. By 2015, the number of these same students increased to 500,000, representing and increase of 14.29% from 2014. In 2016, international students that traveled to Washington, D.C. remained the same as 2015, with an estimated 500,000 international students. Although there was no growth reported based on this information, in 2017, it was calculated that there were approximately 508,500 international students that traveled to Washington, D.C.

The majority of international students traveling to Washington, D.C. in 2014, 2015, and 2016 were from China, the U.K., and Germany every single year. Average trip lengths for international students to the United States was approximately 18 days. Groups generally had around 27 students, with the main purpose of traveling being educational objectives.

U.S. Non-School student Groups Traveling to Washington, D.C.

In order to calculate the number of U.S. students that traveled to Washington, D.C. over the past three years apart from non-school programs, the conclusion was made that, if 30% of U.S. student travelers are attending school-organized trips, then the remaining 70% must be traveling by other non-school related means. Based on this statement, it was calculated that in 2014, there were approximately 3,202,500 U.S. student travelers that took trips to Washington, D.C. apart from school-organized programs. By 2015, this number rose by 5.46% to 3,377,500 students, and again rose by 3.63% in 2016 for a total of 3.5 million U.S. students. Since the 2017 report for tourism statistics in Washington, D.C. has not yet been released, calculations estimated that the total number of U.S. student that traveled to Washington, D.C. of their own accord or by other non-school programs in 2017 was around 3,499,050 students, an increase of 2.83% from 2016.

Student/Youth Tour Accomodations

Information regarding resources and accommodations specifically by school group and non-school group student travelers to Washington, D.C. over the past three years was not explicitly available. However, there was plenty of information regarding the general use of tools by school groups and non-school groups when it comes to booking trips. Additionally, considering that the report from 2013-2015 stated that Washington, D.C. was the top travel destination for U.S. school group students, it is likely that many of the teachers that booked these trips utilized the resources below. As a result, all resources that are used by these groups of people were included, even though they were not explicitly stated to be specific to student travelers to Washington, D.C.

Between 2003 and 2014, the use of the internet across laptops, smartphones, and tablets has increased from 71% to 77.2%. This likely means that in 2017, an even greater percentage of booking and travel information was obtained through such devices. Students ages 25 to 34 are most likely to use smartphones to gather information on traveling (35%), and 25% of students in general will utilize social media apps such as Facebook for accommodation and travel recommendations. The use of third-party booking websites such as Hostelworld, Booking.com, and Hostelbookers are the most widely used travel agencies by students for accommodations, with these websites accounting for 70% of all third-party online booking sites used by students.

Around 77% of teachers that organize class trips reported being responsible for the majority of the planning process for school-related trips. However, 44% of these teachers also report that the actual booking process is completed by tour operators, whom 54% of teachers are responsible for choosing.

Hotels in Washington, D.C. had an average daily rate of $244/night in 2016, and an overall occupancy rate of 78%/day. The demand for such hotels has increased steadily since 2007, with the highest demand for hotels in Washington, D.C. being in October and March. The lowest months for demand for hotels in Washington, D.C. are in December and January on a yearly basis.

Conclusion

Based on the information compiled throughout these four reports, it can be concluded that the total number of student travelers from school-organized groups in the U.S. and internationally, as well as non-school groups, have seen increases in the total number of travelers to Washington, D.C. over the past three years. This trend is expected to continue in 2017 and later years, with non-school students making up a greater portion of student travelers to the area on a regular basis. The resources utilized by students and schools alike that are taking trips range from travel agencies, social media, and third-party booking sites, and are used to different degrees across different age groups of students. For more specific details on the calculations of students for each respective group listed above, please see the other requests for U.S. school groups, U.S. non-school groups, international school groups, and student/youth accommodations.
Sources
Sources