July 2009 issue

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

Contact Point:
Request information from our advertisers

Digital version
To view this page in the digital issue click on this graphic.

Back issues

Status Survey

Link to our site

Get a Free Copy

What are agents?

Calendar of events
Useful links
Language Travel Magazine
11-15 Emerald Street
London, England
T: +44 (0)20 7440 4020
F: +44 (0)20 7440 4033
Pacific Office
T/F: +61 (0)8 9341 1820

Other products

Japan loses pace

Despite the gloom and doom of Japan’s economic outlook, agents have identified potential growth areas in the language travel market for this year.

Key points
• The total number of students placed by the nine agencies in our survey was 10,204

• Individual agencies placed between four and 5,000 students on language courses each year

• Average business growth was –3.3 per cent

• The average length of stay for Japanese students was 14.2 weeks

• Overall, 75 per cent of Japanese students stayed with host families when studying overseas

37 per cent of Japanese students took a language course for their studies overseas

• Half of the agencies in our survey charged a handling fee of between 30,000 yen (US$312) and 680,000 (US$7,065) depending on length of stay

Top destinations Most popular courses
1. Australia 25%
2. UK 19%
3. USA 18%
4. France 13%
5. Spain 11%
6. Canada 10%
7. New Zealand 2%
Other 2%
1. General 39%
2. Intensive%
3. Junior 10%
4. Acad./exam prep 9%
5. Business 4%
6. Work 3%
6. Summer 3%
8. Univesity found. 2%
others 1%

Reasons for language travel Average percentage agency business
1. Studies overseas 37%
2. Future work 28%
3. Pleasure 13%
4. Studies at home 12%
5. Current work 7%
Other 3%
1. Language progr. 51%
2. Work & travel 15%
3. Higher education 11%
4. Volunteer 4%
5. Internships 2%
Other 17%

How do agencies recruit students?
How do agencies find new business partners?
1. Website 51%
2. Word-of-mouth 13%
3. Mailshots 13%
4. Seminars 9%
5. E/online marketing 7%
6. Press 3%
Other 4%
1. Internet 48%
2. LTM/ETM 14%
3. Workshops13%
4. Fairs and expos 10%
Other 15%

Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
Acpet 44%
English Australia 56%

Languages Canada 56%

Souffle 22%
FLE.fr 11%
L'Office 0%
Unosel 0%

MEI 44%

Asils 22%
Italian in Italy 11%

Feltom 22%

New Zealand
English NZ 44%

Aeple 0%

South Africa
Eltasa 0%
English SA 0%

Fedele 33%

ABLS 11%
English UK 44%
British Council 56%

Accet 33%
CEA 33%

Eaquals 33%
Ialc 56%
Quality English 44%
Tandem 22%

Market growth
At first glance, the Japanese language travel market appears to be very healthy with an average growth in business across the nine agencies that took part in this issue’s survey of 83 per cent. However, the true picture is distorted by one new agency that recorded a 600 per cent rise in bookings last year, which was only its second year in business. Excluding this figure, average market growth stood at –3.3 per cent. Closer analysis of performance reveals a relatively stagnant market that has lost pace since our last survey (see LTM, November 2008, page 22): a third of agencies reported an increase in student numbers last year, while a further third said numbers had fallen. Two agents reported a decrease in student numbers of between 10 and 30 per cent.

Language and destination trends
While English, accounting for 70 per cent of bookings, remains the number one language choice in the Japanese market, there has over recent years been some diversification and this is evidenced in our survey. French and Spanish each acquired an 11 per cent share of all agency bookings, with a further two per cent opting to learn German overseas. However, it should be noted that the market share of French and Spanish is boosted by the fact that one agent specialised only in French language programmes and one in Spanish. There was also a jostling for position in the league table of top destinations. Last year’s leader, the USA with 24 per cent of the market, dropped this year to third place and accounted for only 18 per cent of agency bookings. Meanwhile, Australia leapt into first place with 25 per cent, followed by the UK with 19 per cent.

Student and course trends
The main reason why students took a language travel programme overseas was in preparation for their further studies abroad. However, the proportion of students estimated by agents to take a course overseas for this reason had slipped from 43 per cent last year to 37 per cent in this year’s survey. The next most important reason for students to embark upon a language travel programme was for future work, while learning a language for pleasure was the third most popular reason given, accounting for 13 per cent. Demand for academic and exam preparation programmes increased from three per cent in last year’s survey to nine per cent this year.

Agency business
Interestingly, in the Japanese market, there are a number of agencies that specialise in only one language and/or destination. In our survey, for example, apart from the agency that dealt only with French language programmes and the one that specialised in Spanish courses, there was another that exclusively dealt with Canada. Language courses accounted for just over half of all agency bookings while placements in higher education overseas made up a further 11 per cent, up from four per cent previously. Demand for work and travel programmes also increased, making up 15 per cent of bookings, compared with 11 per cent in 2008.

Looking ahead
Despite the bleak economic outlook for Japan, language travel agents remain relatively optimistic. One mentioned that demand for courses targeted at specific job sectors would become more popular, while another said they had already experienced higher demand for pre-masters and Ielts courses.

Economic overview

• Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, has been hit hard by the global economic crisis with demand for its exports drying up. As a result, Japan’s GDP was down by 0.7 per cent in 2008, the first decline in nine years.

• Japan’s real exports dropped by a record 13.9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2008 as the global slowdown choked off demand for the country’s cars and electronic goods. An appreciating yen also affected the country’s exporters, including Toyota and Sony.

• The Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) forecasts that Japan’s GDP will shrink by a further 6.6 per cent in 2009.

Source: Economist.com; The Washington Post

Japanese agents named a range of language programmes they work with, including, in Australia: Australian College of English, various; Cambridge International College, Melbourne; English Language Company, Sydney; Gold Coast English Language School, Gold Coast; Melbourne Language Centre, Melbourne; RMIT University, Melbourne; Southbank Institute of Technology, Brisbane. In Canada: International House, Toronto; PLI, various. In France: Accent Francais, Montpellier; Alliance Française, Rouen; French in Normandy, Rouen; PERL, Paris. In Spain: Clic, Seville; Enforex, Madrid; International House, Barcelona; Malaca Instituto, Malaga. In the UK: Anglo Continental, Bournemouth. In the USA: ELS Language Centers, Princeton, NJ; Selnate International School, Provo, UT. International: EC; Embassy CES; Eurocentres.

Thank you to the following agencies for taking part in our survey: AJ- France; Be Ryugaku; Gio Club Study Abroad; Global Study/Zenken Career Center Inc; Interac Co; Kaleido Ryugaku Service; Ryugaku Journal; Sun-Rise International; U23 Student Information Centre.

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

Feltom Malta  
Perth Education City
Quality English  

Alphe Conferences  
International House
      World Organisation  
Feltom Malta  


Malta Tourism


Perth Education City

Bics (Business & Intl

Berlitz Canada  
Elmwood School  
Richmond School
      District #38  
Stewart College of

IH Xi'an  

      Latinoamericana de
Andean Global
      Studies Spanish
Estudio Internacional
      Sampere, Ecuador  
South American
      Language Center  

Bell International  
Britannia Student
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language and
      (Canada, Cyprus,
      Ireland, England,
      South Africa, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)
Malvern House
      College London  
Shakespeare College
Spinnaker College
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,
TUS Advertising  
Twin Group  
      (Ireland, UK, USA)
University of Essex -

Home Language
(Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Egypt, Finland, France, Greece, The Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, USA, Wales)

International House
      Berlin - Prolog  


Galway Cultural
      (via Impact Media)  

Kai Japanese
      Language School  

Clubclass Residential
      Language School  
EC English
      (England, Malta,
      South Africa, USA)
Feltom Malta  
Malta Tourism

Seafield School
      of English  

EC Cape Town  
      Cape Town- One
      World Language
Good Hope Studies  
inlingua Language
      Training Centre
      Cape Town  
Interlink School
      of Languages  
International House
      Cape Town  
LAL Cape Town  
Language Teaching
Shane Global
      Language Centres -
      Cape Town  

Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL  
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute  

EF Language
      Colleges Ltd  
(Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, USA)
Eurocentres International  
(Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, USA)

Califorinia State
      University Northridge
ELS Language
      (Canada, USA)
San Diego State
University of
      California San Diego
Zoni Language
      (Canada, USA)

Copyright : Hothouse Media Ltd. All rights reserved.