June 23, 2022

Gen Z tops in travel intention; seeks new experiences

categories : tourism

The inclination to travel in the next 12 months is at its highest among 18–24-year-olds - the Gen Z, says a YouGov study.

After more than two years of pandemic life, global Gen Zs are eager to return to their pre-pandemic activities and experiences, after missing out on many of the things they loved before Covid-19.

Across 17 international markets, YouGov’s Custom Research looked at the outgoing activities that 18–24-year-olds were hoping to do more of in the next 12 months.

Reconnecting with friends and family was top of the activities that more than half of 18–24-year-olds globally were eager to do more of in the next 12 months. In addition, they are keen to return to in-person events and vacations either at home or abroad for more than a third of Gen Z’s globally eager to embrace new experiences, the study said.

This generation will form its attitudes towards travel in the next few years, and it is incredibly important for travel brands and marketers to get to know, and monitor their travel preferences as they build a winning strategy, said the report.

The report sets out to understand Gen Zs globally, explore what’s important to them and what makes them tick, reveal what Gen Zs want from travel, and identify the best way to connect and engage with this future generation of travellers.

The study combines living data from multiple YouGov solutions, including YouGov Global Profiles – the world’s largest globally consistent audience dataset, across 43 major markets – and YouGov Global Travel Profiles – travel-specific data from 25 markets and 130 destinations.

The appetite for returning to travel is also reflected in the Gen Zs plans to spend more on travel

in the next 12 months, said the study.

'In fact, if we compare all global adults who are intending to spend more on travel products and services in the next 12 months, Gen Zs lead the way. A fifth of global adults intend to spend more on travel products and services in the next 12 months (21%) compared to the previous year, rising to just over one in four amongst Gen Zs (26%) with millennials following closely (25%). Whereas in the older 55+ age groups we see a lower intention to spend more on travel in the next year, slightly more reticent than the other age groups,' the study said.

What are the top spend categories?

YouGov’s Custom Research across 17 international markets explored the core categories that adults were intending to spend more on this year compared to last year.

For Gen Z, apparel and eating out appear as the top two future spend categories. But the intention to spend more on travel products and services ranks very closely behind with more than a quarter of 18–24-year-olds (26%) intending to spend more on travel products and services in the next 12 months.

YouGov Global Travel Profiles data across 25 major markets found that three quarters of Gen Zs plan to take some form of travel in the next 12 months (75%). In terms of the number of trips Gen Zs are planning to take in the next 12 months, whilst 46% are planning on taking between one or two trips in the next 12 months, compared to the older 25+ age groups they are more likely to want to take three trips or more (30% plan to take 3+ trips vs 27% of over 25s).

Domestic or International

Four in ten 18–24-year-olds are planning on taking domestic vacations in the next 12 months compared to 16% who are planning on taking international vacations.

More than half of Gen Zs in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia are intending to take domestic vacations in the next 12 months. Other countries that over index against the average for Gen Z’s interest in domestic travel are Finland, Mexico, and Italy. Whilst Spain, China and France are more likely than the global total to take domestic vacations, they fall just slightly below the halfway mark of 50%.

Gen Zs in European markets are more likely to want to take an international vacation in the next 12 months. For instance, German and Danish Gen Zs are more likely to want to travel abroad than vacation in their own country, with 50% of German Gen Zs wanting to take an international trip compared to 36% who want to take a domestic trip. However, whilst domestic travel outweighs international travel intention, Gen Zs have a greater desire than other age groups to travel far and wide once the pandemic has ended, said the study.

YouGov Global Travel Profiles found that across the 25 markets surveyed, almost four in ten respondents globally agreed they couldn’t wait to go on a vacation overseas, growing to nearly half amongst Gen Zs (47%), who had the highest agreement with the statement, indicating a strong desire to travel worldwide. Whereas, in comparison, the over 55s are more wary about overseas travel with only a quarter of those aged 55+ (26%) agreeing with the statement.

Gen Z sensitive to price

Naturally, health risks rank as the top concern globally for all age cohorts and in particular in the older generations. But for the Gen Zs who are finding their way in the world, the price of travel and the price of accommodation is a higher obstacle, suggesting increased sensitivities to price in this younger age group.

Over a third of Gen Zs (37%) cite the price of travel as a barrier compared to the global total of 32% and a quarter of Gen Zs state the cost of accommodation as a barrier to travel.

Budget as an influence on travel-making decisions seems to decrease the higher the age, this may be due to more financial stability with career progression, the report said.

Gen Zs have a heightened awareness of the cost of accommodation, this may strongly influence their

consideration for more budget-friendly alternatives offering unique experiences. Whilst standard 3-star hotels and 5-star hotels rank in the top three types of accommodation types that Gen Z frequent on vacation, they are slightly more likely to opt for staying in hostels, renting rooms in other people’s homes, campervans, and couch surfing.

Staying with family/friend’s is the second most common accommodation type for almost a quarter of Gen Zs (24%) offering them the chance to both connect with friends and loved ones without breaking the budget.

Preference for authentic experiences

Across the globe, visiting family and friends is the most popular type of vacation for just under a third of global adults (31%), closely followed by beach (30%) and a combination of relaxing, sightseeing and activity vacations (27%). Whilst Gen Zs also state these as their top three favourite types of vacation, their results are lower than all other age groups.

Gen Z have a stronger desire to seek out authentic experiences that represent the local culture compared to their older counterparts, and they also want to financially support the local communities albeit within more constrained budgets. Just over a third of global Gen Zs prioritise spending money with local businesses or on local produce when on vacation (37%) on a par with global over 25-year-olds (38%).

Social media is so important

Social media has transformed the way consumers not only communicate with each other, but also how they interact with brands and advertising across the globe. The Gen Z cohort has never known a world without social media, and it has become an integral part of their everyday lives.

The appetite for social media among Gen Z consumers continues to grow. YouGov Custom Research data shows that globally, almost four in ten (39%) of 18–24-year-olds intend to interact more with social media in the next 12 months. Social media consumption is least likely to increase among those aged 55+, with only 12% reporting an intention to increase their social media use.

Social media is hugely important to Gen Zs. YouGov’s GB Profiles data reveals that social media is the top source for accessing news among 40% of 18-24s, compared to 24% of adults aged 25+. Similarly, when planning a vacation, YouGov Global Travel Profiles data reveals that social media is the primary source accessed for information among almost 4 in 10 (39%) 18–24-year-olds (compared to only 29% among those aged 25+), and even higher than recommendations from family and friends.

Attitudes to advertising

Global consumers aged 18-24 have high expectations from advertising, with over half (53%) agreeing that they expect advertising to entertain them, compared to 50% of those aged 25+. In addition, they value personalization, with 38% of global Gen Zs more likely to engage with advertisements that are tailored to them, compared to a lower proportion (36%) among adults aged 25+.

Gen Z consumers are more likely to engage with brands and advertising that is relevant and entertaining, and if consumers enjoy the content and communications, they are more likely to respond to it positively, the study said.

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