Educational Tourism: Understanding the Concept, Recognising the Value

by Paul Williams
Jan 2010
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Summary

The educational tourism sector is generally an overlooked sub-sector of the UK tourism market. This is largely due to a lack of understanding about the concept of educational tourism, its value to the visitor economy and associated impacts. This article presents a definition and illustrates how most students travelling to destinations tend to be motivated by a desire to learn, even where this is not the primary reason for travel. The significant volume and value of UK education tourism is presented, with particular emphasis on the international university student market, as well as its impact on visitor economies. The case for more active and effective collaborative marketing is shown through examples of current good practice.

Although the concept of educational tourism may be regarded as an emerging phenomenon, tourism motivated by the desire to learn is not. Academic literature provides a wealth of evidence to support the view that people have been undertaking education-related tourism in one form or another for millennia.

Most tourism students can highlight the importance of the travel literature-induced European ‘Grand Tour’ which was based to a large extent on social and cultural experiences with a predominant educational theme. A key reason for young eighteenth-century aristocrats travelling for between six months and three years was the perception that travel broadened the mind. This historical equivalent to today’s student gap year was based around an itinerary which included learning visits to classical works of art and cultural landmarks.

The exponential and continuing growth in tourism reveals a demand for ‘alternative’ touristic experiences which increasingly include a number of educational and learning elements designed to provide a distinctive visitor experience which is both educational and entertaining.

Special interest tourism is simply a typology of tourists categorised according to their specific motivation which is usually linked to a past-time, hobby, leisure pursuit or other interest. The focus of this interest can be recreational, educational, or in some cases, a combination of both.

Auliana Poon’s (1993) visionary and influential book, Tourism, Technology and Competitive Strategies[1], claims that changes in the marketplace have given rise to a tourism metamorphosis. She argues that new tourism consumers, or new tourists, are remarkably different from the old homogenous mass tourists. In particular, new tourists reflect a growing, segmented trend towards more flexibility, involvement and participation. This segmentation of the tourist market, allied to product differentiation, has led to the development of a number of special interest tourism sub-sectors – including education tourism – which offer a wide range of products, services and experiences.

Given its importance to the UK’s economy, there is surprisingly limited understanding of the concept of educational tourism as well as a lack of research into the various educational tourism market segments. There is also lack of recognition of the consumer needs and travel requirements of education tourists.

This potential growth market is frequently characterised as one where people have a relatively high tendency to travel as well as the time to visit destinations and attractions. The travel and tourism industry cannot, therefore, afford to ignore the needs of market segments such as universities and colleges, schools, English language centres and training institutes.

The most in-depth and rigorous exploration of some of the key conceptual themes in this special interest tourism sub-sector was published by Brent Ritchie in 2003 [2]. His seminal text Managing Educational Tourism enabled tourism practitioners, destination marketers and academics to gain a better understanding of the various forms of educational tourism.

Dynamic external environmental influences inevitably influence the supply and demand of educational tourism products to satisfy the differing needs of a highly differentiated market as illustrated in Figure 1. Consequently, Ritchie (2003) adopts a segmented and systems-based approach to the concept of educational tourism from what he terms a ‘tourism first’ and ‘education first’ perspective.

Source: Brent Ritchie, Managing Educational Tourism

Building upon work undertaken by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), Ritchie subsequently suggests that educational tourism should be viewed along a continuum ranging from ‘general interest while travelling’ to ‘purposeful learning and travelling'. By further developing this notion and incorporating some well-established features, he proposes a revised education tourism spectrum as shown in Figure 2.

Tourism first Education first
General interest learning while travelling< >Purposeful learning and travelling
Primarily motivated by travel and tourism< >Primarily motivated by education and learning
Incidental education motivation< >Incidental tourism motivation
Curiosity-oriented learning experience< >Organised learning-oriented tourism experience
Explicit tourism industry recognition< >Lack of recognition by tourism industry
Core element of visitor economy strategy< >Peripheral element of visitor economy strategy
Targeted by destinations/attractions< >Targeted by education establishments
Visible tourism impacts< >Invisible tourism-related impacts

Source: Paul Williams after Brent Ritchie

The impacts associated with tourism-first forms of travel are in the main clearly identifiable. However, it is useful to point out that school children undertaking an excursion to a zoo, museum, heritage site or theme park, those studying at a language school, and university/college students are all engaged in some form of predominantly ‘education-first touristic activity’ and therefore should be classified as tourists. As such they all have destination impacts and implications for tourism management as illustrated in Figure 3.

Source: Brent Ritchie, Managing Educational Tourism

In addition to a particular learning environment setting, educational tourism experiences can be differentiated on the basis of length of stay, the primary travel motivation and the tourist’s learning intention. The precise interaction of these factors will also determine the amount of pre-travel preparation undertaken. For example, an educational tourist experience could consist of a half-day visit to a museum or ecotourism site, or a three-year degree undertaken partly or wholly in a foreign country.

Educational tourism is therefore not a homogenous group of products. There is wide variety in terms of both the degree of learning involved and the type of tourism experience. Nevertheless, there are some general characteristics which are common to many educational tourism products. These may involve a greater or lesser level of learning. As outlined earlier, Ritchie presents a simplistic model which classifies the different products as being:

  • tourism first – where some form of education or learning is an integral, and in some cases a motivating component of the tourist experience. This may include ‘edu-tourism’ products such as cultural or heritage attractions.
  • education first – whereby the actual tourist experience is considered to be secondary to the core educational element. This may include exchange programmes, language schools and university/college courses.

An interesting observation is that potential tourism marketing opportunities are rarely leveraged effectively as the tourism industry or destination managers do not regard them as viable tourism segments. It is important to remember that as a composite offering, educational tourism comprises a core tourist product which is then augmented with additional secondary or facilitating elements, and delivered by a variety of organisations. They include the following:

  • attractions and events (ie the learning experience venue or location. This could be a heritage centre or educational institution)
  • resource specialists (ie those responsible for delivering the learning experience. These could be guides, curators, lecturers, etc)
  • affinity travel planners (ie individuals, agents or organisations who assist in the planning and design of learning programmes for travellers)
  • tour and receptive operators (ie those responsible for packaging and presenting the educational experience by providing destination expertise, local knowledge and related marketing services).

In addition, there are a myriad of facilitating tourism supplier and support service organisations who also contribute to the total educational tourism product. These include, transport, travel services, hospitality and accommodation providers, recreation, entertainment and destination marketing organisations.

With this in mind it is apparent that innovative partnerships, collaboration and networking are critical to educational tourism product development. However, the diverse range of businesses involved, combined with the fact that some organisations do not perceive tourism to be core to their business, can result in ineffective management and development of this potentially high-yield tourism sub-sector.

The above discussion leads towards an all-encompassing definition of educational tourism originally proposed by Ritchie which incorporates the points outlined above and has been widely accepted by both tourism academics and practitioners alike:

'Educational tourism is tourist activity undertaken by those who are undertaking an overnight vacation and those who are undertaking an excursion for whom education and learning is a primary or secondary part of their trip. This can include general educational tourism and adult study tours, international and domestic university and school students’ travel, including language schools, school excursions and exchange programmes. Educational tourism can be independently or formally organised and can be undertaken in a variety of natural or human-made settings.'

The above definition is applicable to all forms of learning-related special interest tourism irrespective of the primary motivation.

The growth and prominence of both tourism and education as key industries over the past few decades has led to growing recognition of these sectors from both an economic and social perspective. It may also be argued that developments in the tourism industry during this time, allied to changes in education, have seen the convergence of these two industries. Education increasingly enables or facilitates travel mobility and learning has become an important part of the contemporary tourist experience.

In these unprecedented global economic times, the Tourism Alliance has recently highlighted the fact that the UK will be faced with two crucial issues in 2010 – ‘maintaining employment and generating sustainable economic growth’ [3]. The Tourism Alliance’s proclamation comes at the same time as the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published its higher education blueprint document Higher Ambitions. This new framework for universities acknowledges that higher education has been a success story and sets out the important role universities must play in securing the country’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity.

Of particular tourism relevance, the blueprint confirms that [4]:

'the sector is expanding its role as a provider of education to a growing world market consisting of hundreds of millions of new learners who wish to study in English.'

Again, this is not a new phenomenon. Speaking at a tourism and culture conference in 1996, Stephanie Roppolo commented that the success, growth and economic prosperity of 21st century interdependent countries would depend to a large extent on ‘the ability of two industries – education and tourism’ [5]. More specifically, she forecast the following.
  • Cross-cultural experiences would become critical for all nations and other places wanting to compete successfully in the future.
  • More students would travel and study abroad, boosting tourist industries across the world.
  • The tourism industry had to realise that students are a powerful long-term investment for destinations.
  • Not only will friends and family come to visit them while studying, but students are likely to spread the news of their positive tourism experience to other travellers and return for future visits.

This article focuses specifically on the growth, economic importance and impacts of international students studying in universities and colleges in UK destinations. However, it must be emphasised that other sectors of both the domestic and inbound education market also contribute to the economic and social development of visitor economies. In addition, identification of the need for continued education has fuelled the growth of lifelong learning which also has implications for local and regional tourism destinations.

In an article in the Times Higher in April 2009 [6], James Pitman of Study Group UK, commented on the added value aspects of incoming educational visitors. In simple terms this means that overseas students also add a cultural dimension to the immediate learning environment, as well as to the much wider visitor economy. Consequently, it was rightly suggested that this was ‘a group that we cannot risk alienating, especially in the current economic climate’.

Further evidence in support of the importance of export education is contained within the Prime Minister’s Initiative for International Education (PMI2). This 5-year strategy, launched in 2006, aims to maintain and grow the UK’s position as a leader in international education. Of course, the economic value does not stop with the students own tourism-related activities. Often, tourism earnings are boosted when family members and friends visit international students.

Mintel reports in 2007 and 2008 [7][8] highlight some general lifestyle and leisure research findings:

The 2007 survey on student leisure concluded that:

  • Discounting and other forms of promotional incentive are frequently used to attract students by organisations in the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors.
  • Eating out is an emerging trend in student leisure.
  • More students are attending cultural events and live entertainments relative to other consumers in the 18 to 24 age group.

A subsequent student lifestyles report published in July 2008 confirmed that the student market is a vital one for all businesses, particularly those in the hospitality and tourism sector, because students are both consumers in themselves as well as future opinion formers. Other key lifestyle findings revealed in the study of 25,000 students highlighted that:

  • Students are more inclined to socialise off-campus, impacting on the visitor economy, and in particular, the night time economy.
  • Almost half of all students aged 18 to 24 are interested in the arts.
  • Students are more likely to prioritise and participate in a range of cultural activities which include visits to the theatre, exhibitions and art galleries as well as attending rock/pop concerts

Put simply, the above findings suggest that destinations populated by large numbers of students are likely to see a rise in the demand for particular types of tourism products.

Inbound travellers to the UK for various educational purposes – categorised as export earnings – make a significant contribution to the country’s economy, estimated conservatively at £13 billion [6].

According to Tony Millns, chief executive of English UK, approximately one million people come to the UK annually from overseas for the purpose of undertaking an education course or training programme. Although some may only stay for one week, in many cases these students will stay for between one and three years when undertaking a higher education course, and even longer to complete their secondary education.

Higher education is the largest sub-sector by value. Data from Universities UK [9] indicates that in the 2007/8 academic year there were 145,360 full-time undergraduate students and 133,650 full-time postgraduate students from outside the UK, making a total of just over 279,000.

Millns examined the contribution of international students to the UK economy attending the following institutions:

  • independent (boarding) schools
  • state sector further education (FE) colleges
  • private sector tertiary education providers
  • private sector English language centres
  • private training providers, including professional institutes.

He concluded that the total number of overseas students (excluding those enrolled in higher education institutions) engaged in some form of study or training exceeded 750,000 and contributed in excess of £6 billion to the economy [10].

Whilst the reliability of the statistical data on the numbers studying in private tertiary education or undertaking training in commercial training companies and professional institutes is difficult to verify, because of the disparate nature of these sub-sectors and the associated difficulties in data collection, Millns’ conclusions are consistent with the aggregate of £13 billion previously reported when university students are factored in.

The English language sub-sector is a significant revenue contributor - Millns estimates that in 2008 there were 380,000 foreign students studying in 370 centres, worth £1.2 billion in export earnings. The destinations in which these English language centres and schools are located have historically been promoted as a ‘gateway to Britain, a showcase for Britain and a projection of Britain abroad’ [11].

The following brief examples highlight how destinations and attractions are innovatively capitalising on the worldwide demand for English language courses and the associated impacts. The City of Brighton and Hove’s 2008/2018 visitor economy strategy [12] explicitly states that one of its key tourism strengths is that the city ‘continues to be successful in attracting English language students and recently saw the opening of one of Europe’s largest and most modern English Language training facilities in the New England Quarter’.

Similarly, the 35,000 language school students studying English as a foreign language each year make an important contribution to the Hastings economy with some estimates suggesting that the students’ expenditure represents around 25% of the £75 million in total income derived from all tourism activity in Hastings. It is also useful to note that the local council is advocating an extension of the season during which language schools operate in Hastings to more evenly distribute the influx of students.

The Tower of London provides another interesting example of the way in which visitor attractions can innovatively package their offer to the overseas English language education market. Tower history for students from abroad is promoted through workshops. Designed within English as a Foreign Language (EFL) guidelines, the workshops are led by costumed presenters and explore many of the stories that make the Tower a unique World Heritage Site.

Universities undoubtedly have a major impact on their locality. As outlined above, educational tourism is an important economic sub-sector of the tourism industry. All university students, including those from the UK, should be viewed by destinations and visitor attractions in terms of their value and contribution to the local visitor economy as they consume travel, tourism and hospitality services and facilities irrespective of their domicile.

The social and cultural role of universities in destinations extends to the provision of tourism resources such as recreational and entertainment facilities, theatres, concert halls, museums, art galleries and libraries. These resources not only make a huge cultural contribution to destinations but also enrich environments and their local communities.

In the 2007/08 academic year there were 1.48 million full-time students enrolled in UK universities and other higher education institutions (see Table 1). Many of these have relatively few external commitments and, in most cases, in excess of 20 weeks ‘free time’ outside of scheduled term-time attendance requirements. This means they have considerably more residual leisure time than other groups. In addition, the university environment positively encourages students to travel and engage in leisure and cultural activities as well as offering them access to new travel-related learning experiences.

From an export demand perspective, the most important market involved in university educational tourism is international students. This was evident in the recent British Tourism Framework Review [13] which noted that education in the UK is ‘highly respected overseas’ and that the ‘many students who come here bring with them friends and family visitors during their studies and typically become loyal repeat visitors later in life’.

The review report also acknowledged how some destinations such as Manchester ‘created very successful marketing campaigns aimed at engaging students and enhancing their stay whilst they study in the UK, and attracting their families and friends to visit’.

International students from the European Union or other overseas source markets are more likely to engage in sightseeing and visiting destinations and attractions during their time in the UK than domestic students. As shown in Table 1, in 2007/08 there were 133,050 postgraduate students and 145,365 undergraduate students from outside the UK enrolled on full-time courses in one of the UK’s 166 higher education establishments included in the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data.

Study levelDomicileNumber of students% change from 2006/07
PostgraduateUK115,335-2%
Other EU29,3552%
Non EU103,6958%
UndergraduateUK1,086,6401%
Other EU57,3609%
Non EU88,0054%
TotalsUK1,201,9751%
Other EU86,7157%
Non EU191,6956%
All full-time students 1,480,3852%

Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) (2009)

The fourth study of the impact of the higher education sector on the UK economy [14], produced on behalf of Universities UK (the representative body and recognised umbrella group for the university sector) concluded that the off-campus expenditure of international students and international leisure and business visitors is important and adds an additional dimension to the role of higher education within the economy. It is highly likely that a significant proportion of this off-campus expenditure is directly or indirectly supporting the broadly defined local visitor economies.

As shown in Table 2, in relation to international students and visitors the report specifically states that:

  • Personal (off-campus) expenditure of EU and international students attending UK universities in 2007/08 was estimated to be £2.3 billion – equivalent to over 14% of all receipts from overseas visitors to the UK.
  • Higher education makes a key contribution to business tourism as evidenced by the estimated £135 million expenditure of international business and recreational visitors.
  • There were additional multiplier-related, knock-on impacts on economic output and employment generated by this expenditure.

 Overseas StudentsOverseas visitors
Total personal expenditure (off campus)£2.3 billion£135 million
Knock-on output generated throughout the UK economy£3.26 billion£189 million
Knock-on employment generated27,860 full-time equivalent jobs1,613 full-time equivalent jobs

Source: Universities UK (2009)

The UK’s long history of welcoming international students – it is second only to the USA – also appears to be sustainable. In 2004 a British Council report [15], (Vision 2020) concluded that as a result of worldwide demographic trends and an increasing proportion of young people gaining qualifications suitable for entry to higher education, there was likely to be a six per cent annual growth in international demand for places in UK universities.

Furthermore, research has also shown that students choose the UK over other potential destinations as they value the culturalisation opportunities available in many of the university cities and towns [16]. It should be pointed out that some universities have seen a slight decrease in international recruitment since the recent introduction of new immigration rules for students entering the country – the so-called ‘tier 4’ regulations.

Notwithstanding the new immigration arrangements, it generally augurs well for the future, particularly as the primary source markets for international students, China and India, are also starting to embrace outbound tourism. In 2007/08 around 55,000 students came from China (including Hong Kong) and almost 26,000 from India [17]. Further tourism market sustainability evidence is provided in VisitBritain’s 2008 State of Tourism report report [18] which positively confirmed that the UK would continue to be an attractor of large numbers of overseas students, and that the so-called BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China) would also create new tourism source markets.

The above figures beg the question, particularly considering the various economic and social benefits, why university educational tourism is largely invisible in local and national tourism planning strategies?

An independent education benchmarking and consultancy service, i-graduate, annually reports that UK universities ‘are doing most things right when it comes to satisfying the needs and expectations of international students’. But in an increasingly competitive higher education marketplace, if students are to become university and destination ambassadors, enhancing the international students’ experience by expanding their cultural experiences is paramount.

Andrew Carrington of Carrington Crisp, a consultancy which develops reputations and relationships for universities and business schools, also believes that location and perception of location is becoming an evermore important aspect of marketing an education destination. Teaching quality and the university’s reputation are still important choice criteria, but it seems that effective destination marketing is also a key influence on where students choose to study.

Universities have invested significant resources in designated international departments responsible for marketing, and a search of all university websites reveals the importance of international students albeit from a clearly recruitment perspective. However, whilst representatives collect incoming students from gateway airports and mainline railway stations, many university websites contain only a limited amount of information on the tourism offer or key cultural and leisure attractions located in the region. Very few sites provide a link to the local tourism information or destination marketing organisation (DMO) sites or include destination-specific features to promote the destination or location.

In today’s place wars environment this appears to be a missed opportunity. Tourism marketers must work hand in hand with higher educational institutions in order to target the international market segment by providing a positive image of the destination region and the education institution. Equally, university managers should also recognise the economic contribution of international students and ensure that they are looked after as visitors and not just as students.

The Destination Edinburgh Marketing Alliance (DEMA) provides an exemplar of cross-cutting destination marketing with appropriate involvement of senior tourism and higher education representatives. DEMA is essentially a public/private body set up to lead and facilitate the promotion of Edinburgh to enhance its reputation as a place to visit, invest, live, work and study.

One of DEMA’s primary objectives is the development of a joint international marketing strategy with Edinburgh’s four major universities to attract more students and other visitors to ‘stop, stay and spend in the city, encouraging them to return, and strengthening Edinburgh’s performance in business tourism’.

Universities based in Leeds also work collaboratively with each other and the tourism destination authorities to promote the city’s diverse visitor offer to the 200,000 student population, of whom a growing number are inbound international student visitors.

Leeds Metropolitan University’s homepage has an immediate international link which proclaims Leeds as ‘the UK’s favourite city’ and ‘the most popular student destination’. The international page also contains a logo-icon link to the ‘Leeds, Live it, Love it’. This site endorses the university’s proclamation, explicitly promotes the city as ‘a flourishing cultural centre and the thriving student community is testament to this’, as well as providing targeted tourism information in its differentiated ‘Leeds for Students’ section.

Latest figures provided by Study London, the official website for London’s 42 universities and higher education institutions boasts that London remains the most popular destination in the world for international students. Over 93,000 students from over 200 countries study in the UK’s capital city and contribute more than £1.5 billion to the economy. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, also acknowledges the international students’ ‘fantastic and valuable contribution to the diversity and vibrancy of the visitor economy’.

The Study London website provides a wealth of student-focused information, advice and guidance aimed at making international students feel at home. This is supported by the publication of a multi-lingual quarterly Insight academic magazine [19], produced in partnership between the Mayor of London’s Office, London Development Agency, Visit London and the higher education sector through their representative body, London Higher.

In addition to the latest university news, each edition has a regular features section which includes a calendar of tourism and cultural events and festivals – for example, the Notting Hill Carnival; Diwali; Eid; and the Chinese New Year celebrations, as well as promotional details on events such as Taste of London, London Mela, Literature and Jazz Festivals. In each edition, the ‘London’s Hidden Gems’ section explores the city’s unique tourism treasures, specialist collections and cultural resources, for example, recent editions highlighted, Burlington House, the Guildhall Art Gallery, the British Museum and a review of medical museums.

As indicated above, the British Tourism Framework Review recognises that Manchester, which has the largest student population in Europe, has created an incredibly successful marketing campaign. It is aimed at engaging students and enhancing their stay whilst they study in the UK and attracting their families and friends to visit and enjoy the ‘Manchester Experience’.

In essence, Manchester City Council’s commitment to positioning the city as the Knowledge Capital – there is even a personal e-welcome letter from the Leader of the Council to all students – is the catalyst for a city and regional growth strategy. This is underpinned by a thriving visitor economy accessible to all who choose to study in Greater Manchester’s higher education institutions. As the student-specific ‘Discover Manchester’ guide states ‘students have become part of Manchester and Manchester has become part of the student experience’.

The ‘Discover Manchester’ guide is another example of how multiple agencies can collaborate to package and promote a bundle of visitor products targeted at the international student market. The production of the guide is co-ordinated by Marketing Manchester (www.marketingmanchester.com) (the agency charged with promoting the city on a national and international state) in conjunction with the region’s four universities, the Royal National College of Music, the tourist board, regional development agency, key travel and tourism supplier organisations and accommodation providers. Student-centred features highlight the city’s leisure and cultural attractions, entertainment and retail offer and its celebrated events, as well as incorporating ‘a city of two tales’ – short break itineraries designed for students and their visiting friends and parents.

The four examples above reveal that where universities, destination marketing organisations and the tourism sector collaborate their marketing efforts it has the following benefits:

  • an increase in inbound international students
  • an enhanced learning and cultural experience for students during their stay
  • a positive impact on the visitor economy.

All of these factors ultimately result in students becoming ambassadors for both the university and the destination.

This article has provided a definition and explanation of educational tourism to assist destination managers to better understand the concept and associated impacts of this growing, yet largely undervalued, special interest sub-sector. No matter whether students are primarily motivated to travel to destinations for ‘education first’ or tourism first’ purposes, it is important to ensure that visitor experiences are packaged, promoted and delivered. For some destinations educational tourism may initially appear to be relatively low-yield. However, this perception is usually due to a lack of understanding about the learning aspects derived from the myriad of available tourism products, as well as a failure to fully appreciate the economic and social benefits of the distinct markets.

International students are a relatively discriminating, discerning and demanding market, with a higher propensity to spend on tourism-related products. In addition, they tend to be opinion-leaders, early adopters and trend-setters.

Where there is a recognisable learning institution, such as an English language centre or university, located within a destination which recruits students from international source markets, it is recommended that the DMO or tourism authority should collaborate more actively with education institutions. This will enable them to target overseas students, and their visiting friends and families, more effectively as a market segment. The tourism industry should also work with universities to project positive images of the place as both an attractive, prosperous and cultural destination, and as a place to acquire a quality learning experience.

  1. Poon, A. (1993). Tourism, Technology and Competitive Strategies. CABI.
  2. Ritche, B W. (2003). Managing Educational Tourism. Channel View Publications.
  3. Tourism Alliance (2010). Tourism: The Opportunity for Employment and Economic Growthwww.tourismalliance.com
  4. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2009). Higher Ambitions: The Future of Universities in a Knowledge Economy.
  5. Roppolo, S (1996). The Impact on Tourism as we Educate for a Global Society. Tourism and Culture: Towards the 21st Century Conference Proceedings, Northumbria University, Newcastle.
  6. Times Higher Education (16 April 2009). True Value of Student Visa. James Pitman, managing director, Study Group UK. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk
  7. Mintel (2007) Student Leisure UK. August.
  8. Mintel (2008) Student Lifestyles UK. July.
  9. Universities UK (UUK) (Summer 2009). Higher Education in Facts and Figures.http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/Publications/Documents/Facts09.pdf
  10. Millns T. The Volume and Value of Education Tourism to the UK – and how to tap into the student market. Unpublished. Statistics based on 332 English UK members and 40 non members in 2008.
  11. Grant M, Human, B and Le Pelley, B (November 1998). Language Schools and Destination Management. Tourism Insights.
  12. Brighton & Hove City Council (April 2008). A refreshed strategy for the visitor economy 2008/18.http://www.visitbrighton.com/xsdbimgs/Tourism%20strategy%5B1%5D.pdf
  13. Department for Culture, Media and Sport (2009). British Tourism Framework Review: Achieving the Full Potential of the Visitor Economy.www.tourismreview.co.uk
  14. Universities UK (UUK) (November 2009). The Impact of Universities on the UK Economy, 4th Report.
  15. British Council (2004). Vision 2020: Forecasting International Student Mobility – A UK Perpsective.
  16. Times Higher Education (29 January 2009). The Power of Cultural Appeal. James Pitman, Study Group UK. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk
  17. UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/about/stats_and_research.php
  18. VisitBritain (April 2008). UK State of Tourism. Final Report. http://www.visitbritain.com/en/Images/UK%20State%20of%20Tourism%20-%20final%20report%20-%20_7%20April__tcm12-153742.pdf
  19. Study London (November 2009). Insight. Issue 8. http://www.studylondon.ac.uk/insight

Figures 1 and 3 reproduced with kind permission of Channel View Publications Ltd.

Paul Williams is a Programme Area Manager at Staffordshire University where he manages and leads the development of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses in business, management, tourism and events within the Business School. He is the current Senior Examiner for the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s tourism marketing diploma and a member of the Tourism Management Institute’s CPD group. As well as advising Edexcel, QCA and City & Guilds on aspects of curriculum development, he is also an active member of the Higher Education Academy’s internationalisation group. Paul also has done extensive external examining work in the UK and overseas. His research interests include sustainable tourism, place marketing and destination branding, tourism-led regeneration, and special interest tourism.