Posts Tagged ‘Gen Y travel trends’

News Analysis: Gen Y travel trends

Monday, September 12th, 2011

News Analysis: Gen Y travel trends

News Analysis: Gen Y travel trends

As the age-old Spanish proverb goes — the belly rules the mind. That truism is certainly borne out in Contiki Holidays’ 2011 Style Miles report, which shows food dictates the travel habits of most young Australians.

It appears that fast food is losing its appeal at the expense of local cuisine and restaurants, with the report finding 97% of 18 to 35-year olds agree food is the most important element of travel. They’re also keen to let the taste linger a little, with 57% replicating local dishes at home, and a quarter of travellers even changing their dietary habits to incorporate foods they ate while on holidays.

Music and art also ranked as high priorities while on holiday. Most respondents said they had visited local museums and galleries while holidaying in the past three to four years, while 88% went to see local bands or music. Fashion was less popular, however, with about half of travellers having seen a fashion show, and buying souvenirs fell off the radar altogether.

THE TREND SHIFT

The findings came as a surprise to Contiki’s managing director, Fiona Hunt, who said the report confirmed that the profile of 18 to 35-year old travellers was changing. “Young travellers are no longer happy to sit and watch their holiday go by from the traditional tourist hotspots,” she said. “They want to get involved, get immersed in local culture, and they want their holiday to be based on what they find interesting in their daily life.” Labelling overseas travel before the 1990s a “predictable venture” where travellers stuck to popular spots to avoid nasty surprises, Hunt said today’s 18 to 35s want to get a taste of the unknown. “They want to get their hands dirty, get off the beaten track and bring a little bit of their experience home with them,” she said.

Hunt point ed to the internet as the force driving the change in attitudes, but admitted that there could be other factors involved. She can’t be far off the mark though, with the findings also showing Australian globetrotters send an average of 10.8 emails, as well as making 7.9 Facebook updates each holiday. “We’re not entirely sure what’s driving the change, but technology has revolutionised how people are travelling,” she said. “People are researching their holidays more, they know where they want to go, and more than ever, they know what they want.”

WHERE TO NEXT?

Young Australians are also visiting new places. While Europe has been Contiki’s flagship destination in the past, 18 to 35s are increasingly fascinated by Asia, with 53% of the survey’s 1005 respondents visiting Asia in the last three to four years. Almost one third visited Europe, 26% holidayed in the Pacific and 23% travelled to the US.

Excited by the growth in Asia, Hunt revealed plans to launch into the China market. Breaking into the South American market later this year is also on the cards.

Although tight-lipped on the exact details, Hunt said that there will be a “string of announcements” in the coming months. “We’re taking this research under our belt so we can respond to our customer base, but I can say there will be more to come as we continue to engage with the youth market,” she said.



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