January 2007 issue

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

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Italy changes gear

After slow momentum in the Italian marketplace, the last business year has been more dynamic, with agencies pointing to a more diverse portfolio and a stronger economy as factors that helped build business.

Key points
The total number of students placed by the 15 agencies in our survey was 7,498

Agencies placed between 9 and 2,000 students per year

Average business growth was 24.3 per cent, or 16.8 per cent barring one 130 per cent result

The average length of stay was 2.8 weeks

Language tuition overseas was the predominant business sector among agencies

General programmes and summer vacation courses accounted for two-thirds of all bookings

Two-thirds of those agencies canvassed charged a handling fee to clients

In the last 12 months, agencies had worked with an average of 36 education institutions each

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. UK 45%
2. Ireland 20%
3. USA 11%
4. Spain 6%
5. Australia 4%
6. Canada 2%
6. Malta 2%
6. France 2%
Other 8%
1. General 38%
2. Summer vacation 28%
3. Intensive 12%
4. Junior 9%
5. Lang. + work. 7%
6. Other 3%
7. Business lang. 2%
8. Academic prep. 1%

Reasons for language travel Agency business by sector
1. Current work 31%
2. Studies at home 27%
3. Future work 19%
4. Pleasure 13%
5. Studies overseas 10%
1. Language 85%
2. Work & Travel 8%
3. Internships 4%
4. Higher education 2%
5. Volunteer 1%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new schools to represent?
1. Word of mouth 46%
2. Website 26%
3. Seminars to students 5%
4. Mail shots 4%
4. Advertising in press 4%
Other 15%
1. Workshops 44%
2. Fairs/expos 23%
3. Internet 16%
4. LTM/ETM 9%
5. Other press 3%
Other 5%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 40%
English Australia 53%

Capls 53%
CLC 26%

Souffle 53%
L'Office 13%
Unosel 33%
FLE 20%

MEI~Relsa 93%
IEAI 13%

Asils 53%
Italian in Italy 40%

Feltom 80%

New Zealand
Ed. NZ 26%
English NZ 46%

Aeple 20%

Fedele 60%

ABLS 53%
English UK 86%
British Council 93%

Accet 66%
CEA 33%

Ialc 80%
Quality English 73%
Tandem 40%

Eaquals 66%

Market growth
"The market is moving again," said one agency in our survey of Italian businesses this year, summing up what seems to be the case for many companies in this well-established outbound market. After slow growth previously noted in autumn 2005 (see Language Travel Magazine, September 2005, pages 14-15), the Italian market has picked up and overall average growth was recorded at 24.3 per cent, or barring one very high figure of 130 per cent growth, 16.8 per cent. This is a much improved result on the 2.7 per cent growth recorded in our previous survey.

Language and destination trends
The UK remains the most popular destination among Italian agency clients but its market share has dropped slightly from 55 per cent to 45 per cent. Ireland has gained somewhat as a result, increasing its share by three per cent to 20 per cent, while the USA remains the third most popular destination. After English, which accounts for 87 per cent of all courses requested, the second-most requested language is Spanish, at eight per cent, followed by French. In terms of overall business, many agencies only dealt in language learning overseas, while of those who did work in multi-sectors, Work & Travel was the next biggest business sector. At only eight per cent, it is a small but growing market segment, say agencies.

Student and course trends
The market in Italy is not really led by academically motivated students, and as a result, most students were considered to be studying overseas for current or future work purposes and 13 per cent of students are said to study overseas for pleasure only. The most requested course types were general, summer vacation, intensive and junior programmes. The average length of stay is short, at 2.8 weeks, down slightly on the 3.4 weeks estimated in our previous survey. Forty-five per cent of students requested host family accommodation and a larger 47 per cent opted for residential accommodation; an interesting change on our last survey, when host family accommodation was favourite.

Agency business
Word-of-mouth recommendation and the Internet remained the two most important ways of agencies finding new clients, while workshops remained the most popular avenue for finding new school partners to work with. Agencies worked, on average, with 55 school partners, of which they had sent clients to 36 in the last 12 months. The breadth of business partnerships in the Italian marketplace is not as wide as in other countries, where agencies typically work with more schools on an annual basis. However, some of those businesses surveyed only sent clients to one or two study destinations.

Looking ahead
The outlook is positive, with many agencies expecting a good year in 2007. Some agencies point to increased marketing and participation at student fairs as helping to increase enrolments; others to external factors such as economic and political stability improving and terrorism concerns diminishing. One agency highlights Malta as a new destination for their agency, which is winning new clients.

Economic outlook

Italian business confidence rose unexpectedly for the first time in three months in September 2006 as exports increased and declining oil prices cut manufacturing costs. Companies are reported to be optimistic about general prospects for the economy in 2007.

Italy's economy expanded in the first half of 2006 after stagnation in 2005. However, the government is raising taxes and introducing spending cuts in an effort to tame the budget deficit. Italy's debt rose last year for the first time in a decade.

Italy's GDP growth is expected to slow slightly in 2007 at 1.4%, down on the estimated 1.7% growth achieved in 2006.

Source:Bloomberg; Forbes.

Italian agents named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Travellers Contact Point, Sydney, NSW; University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW. In Canada: LSC, various. In Ireland: ATC Language & Leisure, Dublin; Atlantic Language, Galway; CES, Dublin; Horner School of English, Dublin; IH Dublin, Dublin; Language and Activity Holidays, Cork; Language Centre of Ireland, Dublin; Limerick Language Centre, Limerick; Morehampton Language Institute, Dublin; Pace Language Institute, Bray. In Malta: ESE, Gzira. In Spain: Colegio Delibes, Salamanca. In the UK: Basil Paterson, Edinburgh; British Study Centre, London; Central School of English, London; EAC, Edinburgh; ELC, Bristol; Frances King School of English, London; Oxford English Centre, Oxford; Hampstead School of English, London; IH-Wels Group, various; IH Newcastle, Newcastle; Live Language, Glasgow; London House School of English, Westgate-on-Sea; Parkland International, Reading; Pilgrims, Canterbury; Stafford House, Canterbury; Severnvale Academy, Shrewsbury; St Michael's, Tenbury; Victoria School of English, London. In the USA: Academic Adventures in America, Summit, NJ; University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA; UCLA, Los Angeles, CA. Worldwide: Sprachcaffe; St Giles; Study Group.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in our survey: Accademia Brittanica IH, Across the World, Ageo Viaggi, ALCE, ALP Corsi di Inglese, Auriga Servizi, Coming, I Centri, Indirizzo Inghilterra, International Know How; MB Scambi Culturali, Prolingue, STI Travels, Today International, WEP.

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.





Australian Council
       for Private
       Education &
Education New
       Zealand Trust
English Australia
English UK
Quality English

English Australia
Perth Education City
Quality English


Malta Tourism

Bond University
English Australia
La Trobe University
Language Studies
Perth Education City
       University of
Sydney West
       International College

Archer Education
Business English
       School of Toronto
Delta School District
Ottawa International
       Programmes (OISP)
Richmond School
       District #38
West Vancouver
       School District #45

Mandarin House

Bell International
       (Malta, UK)
Berlitz Manchester
Camp Beaumont
English Studio
Globe School of
ILS Nottingham
LAL Language and
       Leisure (England,
       Malta, South Africa,
Liverpool School
       of English
Malvern House
Oxford Intensive
       School of English
       (Australia, Canada,
       England, France,
       Germany, Spain,
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)
Tellus Group

Espace Langues,
Silc - Séjours
       (England, France,

Inlingua Berlin
Lichtenberg Kolleg
Prolog- International
       House Berlin

Alpha College of
Galway Cultural
       (via Impact Media)
High Schools
       International (HSI)
       (Australia, Canada,

Dilit - International

EC - English
       Language Centres
       (England, Malta)
Malta Tourism
Mind a Language
NSTS (Head Office)

Good Hope Studies

Esade - Executive

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

ALCC - American
Kaplan Educational
Oak International
University of Illinois
       at Chicago
University of Illinois
       at Urbana-
Zoni Language


University of

University of Stirling