How each generation is outlining new tourism trends

As we have already reported, different generations means different habits. As Gen Zs are starting to influence their families’ travel choices, the oldest generations are changing their habits, generating new trends. Expedia Media Solution realised a study called “Multi-generational Travel Trends”, based on a sample of about 3000 British, German and French travellers of different ages, in order to detect their behavior.

Starting from the oldest generation, Baby Boomers (55+ yo) seem to be more aware of the destination where they’re going, but they still want help and support during the booking process. Their main travel motivation is relax (53%), followed by sightseeing (48%). Boomers are the generation which can afford to take the longest holidays, on average 10.5 days. During the planning phase of a trip, they mostly rely on OTAs’ portals (54%) and search engines (46%), and are the generation which visits more destination sites (20%) if compared to other generations. Choosing the destination basing on social medias, they are inspired by a good offer advertisement (55%) and by pictures posted by experts (46%). Moreover, they are usually attracted by informative ads (49%) and less by pictures (34%). When it comes to booking, they prefer OTAs (50%), mainly accessing the internet from a desktop device in every step taken before the travel. Moreover, 46% of them stated that the budget is not a key component while travelling and, compared to other generations, they tend to spend more on food (17%) and less on attractions and tours (8%) and shopping (7%).

Generation Xs (34 – 54 yo) mostly rely on OTAs (51%), but also show interest towards travel reviews sites (41%) while planning the travel while they prefer OTAs (52%) when booking. They are the generation that shows more interest towards resorts (10%) and alternative accommodations (12%). Their travel choices are family-oriented (68%). Choosing the destination on social medias, they prefer watching videos posted by experts to get inspired, while they do not pay too much attention to blogs and articles (27%). They are the generation which is more inclined to use tablets before and during their holiday, even if desktop is still the favourite device.

Millennials (18 – 33 yo) take more trips than other generations (4.3 per year). They are no longer mostly relying on OTAs during the travel planning process (48%), even if are still the favourite platforms to book (50%). In fact, Millenials are starting to prefer search engines (51%), hotels’ direct sites (24%), and are also more likely to rely on travel agents (12%). Besides OTAs website, when it comes to booking, they also choose hotels (19%) and destinations websites (13%). Millennials are the least likely generation to stay in alternative accommodations (9%), preferring hotels (65%). When choosing a destination, they are oriented towards once-in-a-lifetime experiences (70%) and off the beaten path locations (69%). Surprisingly, they are also interested in relaxing all day in spas and resorts (59%). In fact, as reported by the Global Wellness Institute, Millennials are considered to be “anxious generation”, due to economic uncertainty. Getting inspired on social medias, they prefer watching pictures posted by friends (45%) or their videos (32%). They are also more likely to get inspired by blogs (37%) and by hashtags (21%). Desktop is the preferred device, but there is a growing use of smartphones and tablets in every stage of the holiday.

Generation Z (18- yo) is the most likely one to rely on metasearch engines when planning a travel (39%), even if they prefer search engines (50%). Moreover, they interestingly rely on travel agents (13%), blogs (15%) and social sites (20%), scoring the highest percentages among the generations. When booking, OTAs are no longer the preferred portals (43%), now competing with search engines (43%). While travelling, they prefer hotels (58%), but also like to stay at relatives or friends’ house (16%). Budget is a key factor while travelling (79%), and they tend to spend more on flights (20%) and shopping (9%). When choosing a destination, they consider the number of pictures they will be able to share on social medias and the uniqueness of the experience. Social medias are very important to Gen Zs, a they get inspired by pictures posted by friends (46%) and are attracted by appealing ads (53%) and pictures (53%). This generation is also the most inclined to use smartphones in more stages of their holiday, now competing with desktop device.

At Twissen we observed that every generation has its own habits and preferences, which are not always what operators of the Travel & Tourism industry might think. According to this, some consolidated and winning practices could be surpassed very soon and new business models could overtake the market based, for example, on specialisation strategies.