Younger travellers are more likely than the older generation to head overseas next year, according to YouGov research presented at WTM Virtual.
About 52% of consumers surveyed for YouGov’s Vacation Dreams report said they would travel next year but only about 27% were considering overseas trips.
Eva Satkute Stewart, Global Sector Head for Travel and Tourism at survey specialist YouGov, said:
“It’s the younger generation that wants to travel first, so it is important to think about how to market.
“They use social media differently…and they are looking for low-cost carriers and cheap hotels.
“Compare that with babyboomers – what drives them is value for money, temperature, outstanding natural beauty and the fact they have been [to a destination] before and like it.”
She said there were differences in attitudes to sustainable travel, with Gen Z and millennial consumers considering themselves as responsible travellers.
Niall Gibbons, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, agreed, saying: “Young people will take more risks; the oIder demographic will come back later.
“The intent to travel is still there for 2021, people are longing to get back on the road.”
The Irish tourist board has also seen positive reactions from residents who took a holiday at home this year, so there may well be more staycations in 2021.
He said the key trend is “wholesome reconnection” which will see travellers choose destinations close to home, such as the UK, as they reconnect with friends and family when borders re-open.
The German National Tourist Board is also seeing recovering numbers from neighbouring countries while prospects for long-haul travel are still very weak.
Matthias Hickl, Director Business Intelligence at the German tourist body, said he had to react swiftly to rapid changes in consumer sentiment as traditional market research could go out of date quickly, so analysed other sources of data such as flight statistics.
YouGov’s Vacation Dreams report showed Canada and New Zealand performed particularly well in terms of awareness and ‘buzz’, notably with the latter thanks to its long Covid-19-free status.
But Stewart noted changing fortunes for destinations, according to factors such as the ease of travel and coverage of the Covid situation.
Looking at trends in luxury travel, the report said most affluent travellers around the world think they can ride out a recession.
It said Gen Z and millennial travellers were the least confident in their ability to ride out a recession but Gen Z were the most eager to travel soon.