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Contents - October 2004


Special Report
Size and scale
The global English language teaching (ELT) market is a significant export earner for a number of countries involved in the ELT business. Yet few studies are undertaken to determine how market share is split between the main players in the marketplace, or to indicate how much the global ELT industry might be worth. Language Travel Magazine attempts to provide an answer to these questions with our global market analysis, compiled with the help of industry specialists.


Direction
Success strategies
Agencies rely on a variety of marketing methods in order to reach new clients or retain old ones, and these may differ greatly from market to market. However, all agents agree that the Internet is important, while the agency brochure is adapting in the marketplace. Jane Vernon Smith reports.



City Focus
Frankfurt's fun side
Frankfurt's reputation as a centre of world finance makes it a popular destination for executive language travellers. However, language schools in the city are quick to point out its many other attributes, including a thriving cultural and entertainment scene. Bethan Norris finds out more.



Opinion

Nurturing growth
For the second time, Language Travel Magazine has endeavoured to produce a picture of the English language teaching industry, to assess market trends and provide guideline information on the size and value of the market in each of the principal English-speaking countries worldwide.

Such information is a real insight into how the main players in the English language teaching industry operate alongside each other. With limited information available from some countries, there will be some margin of error in our findings, but the overall picture produced is crucial to our understanding of the market and the direction in which it is heading.

For a number of countries, it seems, 2003 was a flat year. Malta, New Zealand and Australia are all examples of countries that saw slight negative growth on 2002. This is an indication of the difficult operating environment that the industry has come through.

In the UK, some schools report that student numbers are picking up in 2004 after a depressed year last year for many providers. Those countries that continue to actively market themselves will have a head start when student markets rebound. The same goes for agencies themselves.

In Venezuela, as we hear from one reader this month, operating conditions for agents have been difficult in the last two years. But now there are signs of improvement, and it is those agencies that have maintained their profile in the marketplace that are most likely to profit first from any resurgence in student bookings. Marketing strategies vary from country to country, but good levels of service, a good website and attendance at seminars or student fairs all seem to be standard tools used in the marketing mix of agents.

Countries also market themselves, through an export promotion outfit, to appeal to decision makers in student source countries. Aside from an agent, who is very often the decision maker for their client, the parent of a student embarking on a language travel trip very often has a significant say in the decision making process and export promotion bodies should bear this in mind when developing brand materials.

In Canada, the Canadian Education Centre (CEC) Network seeks to promote Canada as a study destination through various activities, including student fairs and an agent workshop. This year, CEC Network will offer agents a sightseeing trip around Montreal after their workshop.

According to school representatives around the country, Canada wins bookings because of its reputation for safety, as well as its friendly population. Safety and ease of entry still seem to be crucial factors in the decision about where to study. Malta also benefits from its reputation as a fun destination, as revealed in our Student Feedback survey.

For the USA, ease of student entry has become the bête noire of the industry, as visa issuance procedures hamper student demand because of the requirement for a face-to-face visa interview, among other regulations. This is one facet of the visa process that a US Senator is hoping to change.

Perhaps the USA should look to the Antipodean competition for inspiration. Both Australia and New Zealand seem intent on encouraging student immigration. Australia has signed a Working Holiday Maker visa agreement with Taiwan, while New Zealand has revamped its immigration advice website.


Opinion
Nurturing growth
For the second time, Language Travel Magazine has endeavoured to produce a picture of the English language teaching industry, to assess market trends and provide guideline information on the size and value of the market in each of the principal English-speaking countries worldwide.

News
New bill offers hope
for US schools
Beta's parliamentary tea party
UK amends visa change rule
Slight drop in numbers for Malta
Chinese studying overseas number 700,000
NZ's new Asian-friendly immigration website
WHM agreement between Australia and Taiwan

Travel News
Competition among Asian airports
Low-fare airlines battle it out in Poland
South America to Sydney flights increase

Agency News
ExpoBelta to visit more cities
Exchange rate in Venezuela rocks BC relations
CEC Network Agent Fair in Montreal

Agency Survey
France's modest rise
The French market increased in 2003, although many agents said that their businesses were less than buoyant due to growing price concerns among their clients.

Feedback
Malta feedback
Although Malta is developing as a year-round language travel destination, its summer season remains dominated by European students on short stays, as confirmed by this issue's Feedback survey.

Course Guide
Executive French
Learning a language for business purposes requires the acquisition of skills and vocabulary that may not be covered in a general language course. The following language schools in France offer courses specifically geared towards the needs of the business executive.

Market Report
UK seesaws
The 2004 summer season was largely a successful one for many language schools in the UK, which came as a bit of a relief for those still reeling from the downturn experienced in 2003. However, Gillian Evans discovers that schools are reluctant to celebrate their good fortunes too early.

Profile
Japan
Japan is a country steeped in tradition and yet at the cutting edge in terms of architecture and technology. Most visitors discover numerous ways in which the ancient and modern are casually intertwined in everyday life.

Status
Status: USA 2003
The Status survey is a venture by Language Travel Magazine that aims to gather specific market data about all of the main language teaching markets in the world. Through our initiative, it is now possible to compare world market statistics.