April 2007 issue

Travel News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Special Report
Market Report
Course Guide
City Focus

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Spain still buoyant

A healthy economy boosted the Spanish language travel market in 2006, with good growth recorded last year and favourable forecasts for 2007 given by most of the agencies that took part in this issue's Agency Survey.

Key points
The total number of students placed by the 11 agencies in our survey was 2,372

Individual agencies placed between nine and 600 students on programmes each year

Average business growth was 18.7 per cent

The average length of stay was 6.1 weeks

Overall, 54 per cent of Spanish students stayed with host families when studying overseas

Ireland was the second-most popular destination, after the UK, for Spanish students

In the last 12 months, agencies worked with a low average of 16 organisations each

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. UK 43%
2. Ireland 14%
3. Italy 10%
4. France 6%
5. USA 5%
6. Germany 4%
6. Australia 4%
8. Malta 2%
9. New Zealand 1%
1. General 23%
2. Junior 22%
3. Intensive 15%
4. Summer vacation 8%
5. Academic prep. 4%
5. Lang. + work. 4%
5. Business lang. 4%
Other 20%

Top languages Agency business by sector
1. English 70%
2. Italian 9%
3. Franch 6%
4. German 2%
Other 1%
1. Language 74%
2. Internships 8%
3. Work & Travel 6%5%
5. Volunteer 1%
Other 6%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1. Word of mouth 46%
2. Website 29%
3. Mail shots 13%
4. Seminars to students 3%
5. Adverts in press 2%
Other 7%
1. Workshops 43%
2. Fairs or exhibitions 41%
3. Language Travel Magazine 11%
4. Internet 5%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 17%
English Australia50%

Capls 42%
CLC 17%

Souffle 33%
L'Office 17%
Unosel 8%
FLE 17%

MEI~Relsa 67%

Asils 33%
Italian in Italy 25%

Feltom 58%

New Zealand
Ed. NZ 25%
English NZ 17%
Aeple 8%

South Africa
Eltasa 8%
English SA 0%

Fedele 75%

ABLS 17%
English UK 75%
British Council 100%

Eaquals 67%

Accet 42%
CEA 0%

Ialc 75%
Quality English 75%
Tandem 50%

Market growth
Riding on the crest of one of Europe’s fastest growing economies, the Spanish study abroad market has experienced good growth in recent years. Testimony to the health of the Spanish market is the fact that, among the 11 agencies that took part in our survey this issue, two were relative newcomers, having launched their business in the last two years. In addition, no agency reported a decline in student numbers during 2006. Eight agencies experienced an increase in enrolments of between two and 65 per cent, while a further two agencies reported static student numbers last year (one agency did not answer this question). Overall market growth averaged just under 19 per cent.

Language and destination trends
English-speaking destinations accounted for six of the top nine overseas destinations for Spanish students, and English courses were chosen by 70 per cent of agency clients. The second-most popular foreign language to learn was Italian, although its overall market share in this survey was inflated by one agency that specialised in Italian language courses in Italy. In terms of destinations, the UK topped the charts, accounting for 43 per cent of the Spanish outgoing market, followed by Ireland, whose share was down from 30 per cent in 2005 to 14 per cent in 2006 (see Language Travel Magazine, November 2005, pages 14-15).

Student and course trends
The average length of stay was up from 3.3 weeks in 2005 to just over six weeks in 2006, and the main reason given for overseas language learning was for clients’ future work, according to the agencies in our survey. An equal amount of students were motivated to take a language course overseas for both their current work and for their studies at home. This year, however, none of the agencies surveyed cited onward overseas studies as being the driving force behind language learning.

Agency business
Gaining clients through referrals from previous customers remains integral to business in the Spanish market, with an estimated 46 per cent of students coming through word-of-mouth recommendations. Thirty per cent of the agencies that took part in our survey charged students a handling fee, of between e60 (US$78) and e300 (US$390). Language course bookings accounted for an overall average of 74 per cent of an agency’s business, while internships made up a further eight per cent of bookings. Another significant niche in the Spanish market is au pair programmes, which accounted for between 10 and 30 per cent of total bookings at some agencies.

Looking ahead
There is great optimism for the future performance of the outbound study market among agencies in Spain, with most agencies forecasting individual growth of up to 40 per cent in 2007. One agency gave a slightly more cautious forecast for the year ahead, citing political and economic reasons, although they still expected business to increase. One agency noted growing interest from university students, while another highlighted adult courses in general as a growth sector.

Economic outlook

GDP growth in 2006 was 3.4%, over twice the euro-zone average, and is expected to better the euro average again this year. The European Commission forecasts economic growth in 2007 of 2.7% in the euro region, while Spain is expected to grow 3.4%.

Spain's unemployment rate has fallen steadily over the years and at 8.1%, is at a low not seen since the 1970s.

Household consumption rates have slowed partly because of the high inflation rates recorded in the first half of 2006 and the effect of interest rate rises.

Property prices in Spain are causing concern, and a downturn in the property market could cause a negative shock to the economy.

Sources: Economist.com; CIA The World Factbook; Banco de Espana

Spanish agents named a range of programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Australian College of English, various; CET University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW; Griffith University English Language Centre, Brisbane, QLD; Shafston International College, Brisbane, QLD. In France: BLS, Biarritz; Ecole PERL, Paris; Odyssea Montpellier, Montpellier. In Ireland: CES, Dublin; Cork English College, Cork; Horner School of English, Dublin; Linguaviva, Dublin. In Italy: Babilonia, Taormina; Machiavelli, Florence. In Malta: Linguatime, Sliema. In the UK: Beet, Bournemouth; Camden College, London; ELC, Bristol; Live Language, Glasgow; Oxford House College, various; Regency College, Brighton; Regent, various; St Giles, Brighton; Select English, various; The New School of English, Cambridge; The London School of English, London. International: Aspect; Embassy CES; OISE.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in our survey: Babel Idiomas, Best Huelva, Center for Cultural Interchange SL - Get Ready, EduQuality.Net, Globus-Idiomas, Formación y Ocio, International Educational Consultants, Living Languages, OISE Madrid, SFC – Idioma y Vacaciones, Studiainitalia, The English House.

Contact any advertiser in the this issue now

The following language schools, associations and accommodation providers advertised in the latest edition of Language Travel Magazine. If you would like more information on any of these advertisers, tick the relevant boxes, fill out your details and send.





Britannia Student

English Australia
Perth Education City
Quality English

Student Guard

Alphe Conferences
CEC Network
ICEF Online
Language Travel
       Magazine Star

Language Travel

Malta Tourism

English Australia
Perth Education City

Bodwell College
College of New
Immersion Baie-des-
National School of

Mandarin House

Global Study
       (Karlov College)

Basil Paterson
Bell International
Britannia Student
English Studio
Frances King
       School of English
IH London
ILS Nottingham
LAL Language
       and Leisure
       (England, Malta,
       South Africa, USA)
Living Learning
Malvern House
       College London
Oxford Intensive
       School of English
       (Australia, England,
       France, Germany,
       Spain, USA)
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
St Giles Colleges
       (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Ireland,
       Italy, New Zealand,
       South Africa,
       Spain, USA)
SUL Language
West Devon English
       Language School

Eurolingua Institute
       (Argentina, Austria,
       Australia, Belgium,
       Brazil, Canada,
       Chile, China,
       Colombia, France,
       Greece, Ireland,
       Italy, Japan,
       Malta, New
       Zealand, Spain,
       South Africa,
       Portugal, UK, USA)
SILC - Séjours
       (England, France,
Home Language
       Australia, Austria,
       Brazil, Canada,
       Chile, China,
       Czech Republic,
       Denmark, Egypt,
       Finland, France,
       Germany, Holland,
       Hungary, Ireland,
       Italy, Japan, Malta,
       NZ, Norway,
       Poland, Portugal,
       Russia, Spain,
       Switzerland, UK,
       USA, Venezuela)

Prolog- International
       House Berlin

Atlantic Language
Dublin City University
Dublin School of
Galway Cultural
High Schools
       (Australia, Canada,
Swan Training


EC - English
       Language Centres
       (England, Malta)
Malta Tourism

       Management AB
       (Russia, Ukraine)

University of

       Language School
Malaca Instituto -
       Club Hispánico SL

EF Language
       Colleges Ltd
       Canada, China,
       Ecuador, England,
       France, Germany,
       Ireland, Italy,
       Malta, New
       Zealand, Russia,
       Scotland, Spain,

ALCC - American
ELS Language
Hun School of
       Princeton, The
inlingua School of
Kaplan Educational
       Centers (Canada,
       England, USA)
University of Illinois
       at Urbana-
Zoni Language
       (Canada, USA)


Global Lifestyles
IH Vancouver
National School of

Tellus Group
Training Partnership
       Ltd. (The)
Twin Group

International House
       Sevilla - CLIC