Canada emerges as top destination for Mexican agencies
Canada surged in popularity for Mexican agencies in both the language and higher education sectors, according to agents featured in our Agency Survey of Mexico in the November 2017 issue of StudyTravel Magazine.

More than doubling market share since our previous survey in August 2015, Canada's affordability and welcoming nature, as well as its decision to lift visa requirements for Mexican visitors in December 2016, meant that it represented 65.8 per cent share of bookings for participating agents.


"Canada is and will be the number one destination for Mexican students," said Joshua Trip, Executive Director of Lamat agency and AMTE, the agency association of Mexico. "It is close to Mexico, the airfare is not expensive, the exchange rate and prices are very reasonable, visas are not a problem, and Canadians are very welcoming to Mexicans."
For Fernanda Viramontes at Mundo Joven Travel Shop, Canada increased by 50 per cent year-on-year from 2015 to 2016, and figures showed a similar trend for 2017.


As well as reasons including proximity to Mexico compared with the UK and ease of acquiring a visa, she added, "Canada is well known for its respectful treatment to immigrants, and for being one of the most safe and liable countries to live.


"Canada also offers a lot of possibilities for higher education students through the Canada Experience Class (CEC). It's a destination that actually allows the students to create a plan of living, from the certificates and diplomas, to master's and applying for residence."


An emerging destination revealed in our survey was Ireland, which increased to 8.4 per cent share of the destinations cited by agencies, compared with 1.3 per cent in our previous survey in 2015.


"In the case of Ireland the USD exchange rate is not very different to the EUR, so it is very attractive to go another continent to study for a slight price difference," explained Joshua. "Plus, they have the work and study programme for Mexican students with which they can help ease the expenses during their stay."


Language was the largest sector of the study abroad market for Mexican agencies, accounting for 83.4 per cent share. Within this category, general language was the most popular choice but intensive language (15.1 per cent), junior (9.7 per cent) and summer programmes (8.3 per cent) were also popular options.


One potential emerging trend noted by Joshua was the increasing interest in pathway programmes.


"What is interesting now is that more students have started to understand the advantage of pathway programmes and the benefits they have even if you are not going to pursue an undergraduate degree abroad," he said. "This is a programme we will keep an eye on as it can become a potential trend."


Making up the remaining sector options was secondary with nine per cent, higher education (4.2 per cent), work and travel (3.1 per cent), and volunteer programmes (0.3 per cent).


Elsewhere in the survey, fairs and expos were the number one way for Mexican agencies to find new schools to represent (41.2 per cent), followed by agent conferences (24 per cent) and the internet (18.8 per cent).


When finding new students, word-of-mouth was the top recruitment method (41.3 per cent), and 47.5 per cent of students were studying overseas for future international studies not in their home country.


There were 19 Mexican agencies that took part in our survey, sending 6,697 students abroad in the past 12 months. Individual agencies placed eight to 2,078 students per year, and the main preference of accommodation was for host families with 73.2 per cent.


To view the article and statistics in full, please click here.


By Georgina Deacon
Staff Journalist