Travel Insights: Travel Motivations by Generation

June 2, 2021  |  Victoria Simmons

Travel & Tourism

BVK breaks down how travel behavior differs by generational cohort. Lifestyle and cultural norms play a large role in how consumers research, plan and experience travel.

Gen Z

Social media-fueled Gen Z crave unique travels. They seek inspiration from influencers but avoid clichés. Despite being disregarded as the youngest generation with the least spending power, Gen Z is a key segment for travel marketers as they are coming of age as travelers and could soon represent a significant share of travel spending. In the meantime, many are influencing their parents’ travel decisions while others are making their own.

Implications: Focus marketing messaging on targeting the early “inspiration” phase of the customer journey with new travel offerings shared strategically on social media. Strive to be genuine and stay true to the essence of your brand.

Millennials

The ‘poster child’ generation for travel is ready to resume vacationing in a big way, leading the resurgence of travel. Despite being stereotyped as the “broke” generation, high-earning millennials are looking to splurge on luxury trips.

Implications: Don’t shy away from promoting higher-end offerings. Demonstrate a range of affordable to luxury vacation types for your travel brand to reach this eager and lucrative segment.

Gen X

The Gen X audience is hesitant to return to travel, but as a group in the height of their parenting and career, they are gradually returning with both business and leisure trips. This is an opportunity segment for travel brands to keep an eye on for the long run.

Implications: To appeal to the former business travelers, brands who can show a bleisure offering or work from home appeal could successfully tap into the Gen X audience.

Baby Boomers

Having been one of the first groups to be fully vaccinated, Baby Boomers are eager and ready to return to travel. They feel invincible and young again, being motivated to reconnect with loved ones after missing out on precious family memories due to the pandemic’s restrictions.

Implications: Emphasize inter-generational travel opportunities for families to participate in, appealing to the family-focused Baby Boomer segment who is driven by familial reunions. Here’s a good example from VRBO.

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Victoria Simmons
is Senior VP, Travel at BVK

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