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July 2009 issue

Contents
News
Agency News
Agency Survey
Feedback
Market Report
Direction
Special Report
Course Guide
Spotlight
Destination
City Focus
Status

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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
Australia
Acpet 44%
English Australia 56%

Canada
Languages Canada 56%

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

Ireland
MEI 44%

Italy
Asils 22%
Italian in Italy 11%

Malta
Feltom 22%

New Zealand
English NZ 44%

Portugal
Aeple 0%

South Africa
Eltasa 0%
English SA 0%

Spain
Fedele 33%

UK
ABLS 11%
English UK 44%
British Council 56%

USA
AAIEP 44%
Accet 33%
CEA 33%
UCIEP 22%

International
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.

Name

Company
Country

Telephone

Email


ACCOMODATION
Britannia Student
      Services  

ASSOCIATIONS/GROUPS
Feltom Malta  
Perth Education City
Quality English  

EVENTS
Alphe Conferences  
International House
      World Organisation  
Feltom Malta  

SERVICES
InTouch  

TOURIST BOARDS
Malta Tourism
      Authority

ARGENTINA
Exspanish  

AUSTRALIA
Perth Education City

BRAZIL
Bics (Business & Intl
      Communication
      School)

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

CHINA
IH Xi'an  

ECUADOR
Academia
      Latinoamericana de
      Espanol  
Andean Global
      Studies Spanish
      School  
Estudio Internacional
      Sampere, Ecuador  
South American
      Language Center  

ENGLAND
Bell International  
Britannia Student
      Services  
Kaplan Aspect  
      (Australia, Canada,
      Ireland, Malta, New
      Zealand, South
      Africa, UK, USA)
LAL Language and
      Leisure  
      (Canada, Cyprus,
      Ireland, England,
      South Africa, Spain,
      Switzerland, USA)
Malvern House
      College London  
Shakespeare College
Spinnaker College
Quality English
Queen Ethelburga's
      College  
St Giles Colleges  
      (Canada, UK, USA)
Study Group  
      (Australia, Canada,
      England, France,
      Germany, Ireland,
      Italy, New Zealand,
      South Africa, Spain,
      USA)
TUS Advertising  
Twin Group  
      (Ireland, UK, USA)
University of Essex -
      International
      Academy

FRANCE
Home Language
      International  
(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)

GERMANY
International House
      Berlin - Prolog  

GUATEMALA
Probigua 

IRELAND
Galway Cultural
      Institute
      (via Impact Media)  

JAPAN
Kai Japanese
      Language School  

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

NEW ZEALAND
Seafield School
      of English  

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

SPAIN
Malaca Instituto -
      Club Hispanico SL  
Pamplona Learning
      Spanish Institute  

SWITZERLAND
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)

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



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