Elements of Future Success Influenced by Youth Travel Experiences

Brightspark Travel survey finds that over 94 percent of American business leaders connect student travel with their competitive edge in the workplace

DEERFIELD, IL, Nov. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - It seems that catching the travel bug early on is a strong precursor to accelerated success later in life. According to a recent poll, entitled The Brightspark Edu-Travel Report, key leadership traits garnered through student travel including independent thinking, an appreciation for diverse culture, risk-taking and confidence, give young people a competitive advantage over their peers, especially when it comes to realizing success in adulthood.

Over 500 American entrepreneurial and business leaders stated that their travel experience as a student had fostered the development of relevant leadership skills, with 94 percent of survey respondents strongly agreeing that being well traveled was a competitive advantage in the workplace. Additional survey results showed that educational travel allows students to test their independence and character while gaining a deeper appreciation and acceptance of the world around them. Ninety-nine percent of American business leaders said that being more culturally aware provided them with opportunities for success in all facets of life, on both an international and local scale.

With the continuing shift towards a more globally informed society as well as new business challenges brought about by a precarious economy at home and abroad, life lessons picked up through student travel will help create more confident and ambitious leaders, both today and tomorrow. In particular, when it came to career, social connections and overall happiness, The Brightspark Edu-Travel Report discovered that the majority of business leaders who traveled as a student rated their success a 4 out of 5 in those categories.

"Student travel provided me with a safe framework to challenge myself and develop lifelong leadership skills," says Matt Wilson, Co-founder of Under30CEO.com, a website for young entrepreneurs. "It encouraged me to take risks and test my independence; characteristics that helped me as a student and that I still rely on today in the business world."

The experience of travel offers young people a multitude of advantages that open up new horizons and fresh perspectives to the world, with thanks to thousands of educators who bring those experiences to life for their students every day. Of business leaders polled, 97 percent suggested that they were extremely appreciative of their student travel experiences and agreed that it had a lasting impact on their lives. More than ever, educators are challenged to connect their classroom curriculums to real life - and with the right programming assistance, the outcome can be truly rewarding.

Brightspark Travel, a leading North American educational tour operator, supports schools by creating customized travel experiences for middle and high school-aged children that include a broad range of national and international destinations, making it easier for teachers to navigate through the complex and often overwhelming world of student travel.

Lisa Curtin, Vice President of Operations Brightspark Travel, commented: "This research adds to the growing wealth of evidence demonstrating the value of learning outside the classroom in improving cultural awareness and motivating children to become lifelong learners. The overwhelming benefits of getting children out and about far outweigh the perceived barriers that can include concerns over safety, which we take very seriously. Brightspark Travel offers practical solutions to help teachers integrate learning outside the classroom into the curriculum."

With more than 100 years of combined experience, Brightspark Travel has helped simplify the student travel process for teachers and parents alike; helping thousands of student groups experience diverse activities ranging from exploring the history behind the Great Wall of China to performing in front of recognized Broadway producers, to touring Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Brightspark focuses on delivering fun and inspiring travel experiences for students across the country and helps to inspire students, ignite their curiosity and teach them life lessons through tours that are illuminating and unforgettable.

The Brightspark Edu-Travel Report (conducted from October 5 - 21, 2011), polled 592 American entrepreneurial and business leaders, who were reached through a variety of Twitter sources including @Under30CEO, an online forum offering advice, trends and events geared towards young entrepreneurs. The poll was designed to capture the sentiment of American business leaders in regards to student travel and as it relates to future success.

About Brightspark Travel

Brightspark Travel is a leading educational tour operator with over 100 years of combined experience taking students around the world. Brightspark offers custom educational and performance tours in the USA and to other international destinations. Brightspark helps its customers simplify the entire student travel process from initial ideas, to logistics planning, through the completion of the trip. With help from Brightspark, thousands of student groups have experienced history, performed for millions, discovered art and experienced a new culture. For further information: www.brightsparktravel.com

SOURCE Brightspark Travel

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Erin Bodley / Leah Walters
416.963.4297 / 416.963.4293

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