|With Brazil emerging strongly from the global recession, the language travel industry has seen a surge in bookings, with Canada leading the pack of top destinations buoyed by its favourable work regulations.
|• The total number of students placed by the 12 agencies in our survey was 14,554
• Individual agencies placed between 20 and 8,000 students on language courses each year
• Average business growth was 17.4 per cent
• The average length of stay for Brazilian students was 8.5 weeks
• Overall, 70 per cent of Brazilian students stayed with host families when studying overseas
• 17 per cent of Brazilian students take a work and travel programme
• 67 per cent of the agencies in our survey charged a handling fee, of between US$50 and US$200
||Most popular courses
|1. Canada 39%
2. USA 19%
3. UK 17%
4. Australia 6%
5. Ireland 5%
5. New Zealand 5%
7. South Africa 3%
8. Spain 1%
||1. General 37%
2. Intensive 28%
3. Work 12%
4. Business 8%
5. Junior 8%
6. Summer 5%
|Reasons for language travel
||Average percentage agency business
|1. Current work 33%
2. Future work 31%
3. Studies at home 16%
4. Studies overseas 15%
5. Pleasure 3%
||1. Language programmes 56%
2. Work & travel 17%
3. High school 8%
4. Higher education 7%
5. Internships 3%
6. Volunteer 2%
|How do agencies recruit students?
||How do agencies find new business partners?
|1. Word-of-mouth 40%
2. Website 17%
3. E/online marketing 10%
4. Advertising in press 9%
5. Mail shots 7%
6. Seminars to students 5%
7. TV/radio 3%
||1. Language fairs and expos 30%%
2. Workshops 29%
2. Internet 14%
2. LTM/ETM 10%
|Percentage of agents who recognised each of the following organisations
English Australia 90%
Languages Canada 100%
Groupement FLE 20%
Italian in Italy 10%
English NZ 80%
English UK 70%
British Council 100%
Quality English 40%
Following negative growth in 2009 owing to the adverse economic environment, the Brazilian language travel industry has bounced back in 2010, with just over 58 per cent of the agencies that took part in this issue’s survey reporting an increase in student bookings of between 10 and 56 per cent compared with the previous year. Only one agency reported a decline in bookings, while a further 25 per cent of agencies said their bookings had remained the same. Overall, across all respondents’ businesses, enrolments soared by an average of 17.4 per cent in comparison to the previous year. The reason for the favourable performance was mainly anchored in Brazil’s economic recovery and the stability of its currency, while one agency mentioned that they were on a steep growth curve as it was only their second year of business, and another put their favourable performance down to their focus on group travel.
Language and destination trends
Canada remained the number-one choice among Brazilian language travellers 75 per cent of respondents said this was their top destination accounting for an overall 39 per cent of enrolments. Second-placed USA gained a couple of percentage points on last year, as did the UK, which remained in third place this year. Interestingly, South Africa is becoming a popular destination among Brazilians, taking seventh place with a share of three per cent this year after not featuring at all in the top destinations league table last year. With the top seven destinations being English-speaking countries, it is no surprise that English is the language chosen by 86 per cent of Brazilian language travellers, while Spanish accounted for six per cent of bookings this year compared with 8.5 per cent last year.
Student and course trends
Work was a motivating factor behind the decision of many Brazilian language travellers to take a language course overseas. According to the agencies in this year’s survey, most students wanted to take a course for their current work, with the second most prevalent reason being for their future work. This is also reflected in enrolment trends; while 56 per cent of enrolments were for language courses only, a further 17 per cent were for work and travel programmes. This could also be a reflection of the favourable working visa regulations in Canada, Brazilian’s top destination. High school programmes also featured strongly this year (eight per cent).
Brazilian agencies attracted a majority of their clients (40 per cent) through word-of-mouth recommendation, while website bookings accounted for only 17 per cent of enrolments. Sixty-seven per cent of Brazilian agents charged students a handling fee of between US$50 and US$200. When it comes to finding new schools with which to work, the main source of new partners for Brazilian agencies was language fairs and student expos, followed by workshops.
If the economy and currency remain stable, the outlook for the Brazilian language travel market appears rosy for the foreseeable future. This, coupled with increased marketing plans by many, an expansion of branches by one agency and a focusing on high school and work and travel programmes, points to healthy growth.
• Latin America’s largest economy, Brazil has pulled itself out of the worst of the global recession. Posting new stock market highs and decreasing unemployment, along with all-time low lending rates, Brazil is currently one of the strongest economic powers in the world.
• Brazil’s economy recorded an 8.8 per cent growth in the second quarter of 2010 compared with 2009. However, growth slowed in the second quarter of 2010 in comparison to the first quarter and annual inflation in July was the lowest in six months.
• Brazil is expected to post annual average economic growth of 5.7 per cent from 2010 to 2014.
Source: Bloomberg.com, Business Monitor, Reuters.com