Travel Insights: Travel Motivations by Generation
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.
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.
- Thirty seven percent of 18- to 25-year-old Americans surveyed said that social media posts with cliché captions such as ‘catch flights, not feelings’ were their biggest pet peeves and would not appear in their own feeds when they next travel.- Travel Pulse
- Thirty four percent of Gen Z disliked the ubiquitously staged tourist poses (like ‘leaning’ on the Leaning Tower of Pisa), and 29% found snaps of hotel rooms tiresome. – Travel Pulse
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.
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.
- An estimated 37% of high-earning Millennials are planning to spend more than $5,000 on an upcoming luxury trip. – TripAdvisor and Accenture The Future of Travel Report
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.
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.
- Gen X is in their prime career age, making up a decent percentage of business travelers. While corporate travel is nowhere near pre-COVID levels, 25% of those surveyed plan to travel for work in the next six months. Of those corporate travelers, 10% will make their trip “bleisure” style, blending work and pleasure. – Expedia Group
- Gen X are also new empty nesters, an ideal travel opportunity segment. A previous study found that 52% of over-50s said they’ve changed the way they approach travel, aligning with the ages of kids leaving home. 67% of this group says they travel more frequently with 34% traveling to more exotic destinations. – National Geographic
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.
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.
- More than half (56%) of grandparents said the first trip they’re planning to take is to see their grandchildren. Two in five (42%) U.S. grandparents have had a grandchild born since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. – PR Newswire
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.