Contents - January 2006

Special Report
Getting the message out
Marketing is an essential component of any business venture, as it is crucial to maintaining profile in an often crowded marketplace and attracting new clients. Together with a strong, diverse portfolio of products, a good understanding of client needs and strong customer service, marketing is one of the main ingredients to continued success. Jane Vernon Smith reports.

Teenage learning
The junior/teenage sector of the language travel market is buoyant and becoming ever more sophisticated in an effort to tap into what these young clients want. Amy Baker reports.

England's south coast
There is no shortage of things to do in England's southern coastal cities and towns, with the added benefit of quality language courses and accommodation generally available at a good price. Gillian Evans finds out more.


Selling with soul
For us here at Hothouse Media, January means the return to work after a well-earned break and many of us are lucky enough to be able to travel during our Christmas holidays.

This year, team members will be travelling to Italy, the Czech Republic, France, Kenya, Martinique, Goa and Cuba. Some of us will be returning home, some of us are going on holiday, and one is planning to learn Spanish in Cuba – proving that we do try to keep our fingers on the pulse and find out for ourselves about the language learning experience (while hopefully improving our language skills at the same time).

Such self-evaluation of language schools is very important to agencies as many point out that when it comes to marketing their services, trust is their best selling point; trust and recommendation from clients that their agency can genuinely recommend a good language school.

To garner trust in an agency, personal contact is required, and some agents point out that the Internet is not well used as a tool to attract new business. Nevertheless, agencies acknowledge that students are more and more likely to use the web, at least to look for a school that they have booked through an agency. Therefore, a web presence will become more important in the future in all markets, at least to profile school partners, and this is one factor explored in our Special Report about marketing strategies (pages 24-28).

Trust is an important factor for agencies, particularly for those dealing with the junior market, and parents are reported to be more concerned than ever in assuring their children are well catered for and well supervised during their language programme overseas (pages 20-22). Australia, like Malta, is one country to have picked up on heightened expectations concerning the junior sector and school association, English Australia (EA), reports that it has updated its best practice guidelines for juniors in the hope that parents and agents have "greater confidence" when dealing with an EA member school (page 12).

While nerves may be experienced by students (and parents) about a trip overseas, this is normally replaced by excitement, as students come to discover another culture and meet new friends. One school in Tokyo relates that it helps students meet local Japanese people and they often end up spending weekends with new friends (pages 40-41). Such initiatives lead to satisfied returned students, who are of course the cheapest form of marketing.

Selling with soul

WYSTC wins in Toronto
OISE decides to delay flotation
New consortium in Canada
Belta in Brazil now promoting inbound travel
Obituary: Alberto Sampere
Ireland wooing Chinese

Travel News
US Delta reorganises its operations
EU and US closer to pact
Eva Air launches Hello Kitty jet

Agency News
Second agent association in Turkey
Fedele workshop charms agents

Agency Survey
Poland expectant
Many agencies in Poland experienced zero growth last year, but there is hope that business might flourish in 2006, with language and work programmes forecast to be one of the most significant growth sectors.

Americans remain the most prevalent nationality to be found learning Spanish in Mexico. Older language learners and many students who have been on a language learning trip before are also attracted to study in the country.

Course Guide
Summer courses

Business courses in the USA
Schools in the USA offering language courses designed to meet the needs of the executive market ensure that their programme is progressive and their business clients are offered a luxury experience.

City Focus
Taste of Tokyo
One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Tokyo can appear to be a somewhat intimidating place, but language travellers soon enjoy studying in such a modern and exciting global city. Bethan Norris gets a taste for Tokyo.

Malta 2004
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine, which gathers specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. For the first time, it is possible to compare world market statistics.