Increasing knowledge and experiencing everyday life by doing things like devouring exotic regional food and schmoozing with friendly locals are at the top of the to-do list for many millennials when traveling in foreign countries, even if that means less relaxation and more stress.
Those are some of the latest trends revealed in a new report by the World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation, a global not-for-profit membership organization based in Amsterdam.
“Young travellers of the millennial generation represent 20% of international travelers,” David Chapman, director general for the group, said at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London earlier this week when the results of the Millennial Traveller report were released.
“By 2020, 320 million international trips are expected to be made by youth travellers each year, a staggering 47% increase from 217 million in 2013,” added Chapman, who presented highlights from the report during the WTM’s first youth travel program, noting the opportunities that the global trend presents and calling the new research an insight into “this fast-growing and increasingly influential market.”
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are typically defined as young adults born after the early 1980s.
The report was based on the analysis of a survey completed earlier this year by more than 7,600 young travelers aged 18 to 30 from more than 100 countries.
“The millennial generation is growing up in a technologically advanced world where travelling and communication go hand-in-hand and are easier than ever before,” Chapman said in a statement. “By providing insights into the trends these influential travellers are driving, we aim to provide travel professionals with a better understanding of the long-term opportunities they can explore within this unique sector and, ultimately, better cater to the needs and interests of millennial travelers,” who are spending more and embracing the internet and mobile technology during travels.
The report is part of a series based on the results of the Millennial Traveller survey that aims to capture a snapshot of travel behaviors, experiences, motivations, attitudes and opinions by looking at where millennials travel, how much they spend and how they plan.
The key findings of the first report include:
Australia and the United States are the preferred next’’’ trip destinations (each at 11%), followed by the United Kingdom (8%).
Family and friends are the most influential source of travel information for 67% travelers.
80% of respondents feel travel reviews have a real influence on their decisions, with 56% posting online reviews after a trip.
Flight bookings via mobile devices doubled in the last year; 7% of survey respondents reported having booked a flight by mobile phone or tablet compared to 3.8% in WYSE Travel Confederation’s New Horizons study, published in 2013.
12.5% reported experiencing difficulties related to visa regulations when travelling.
50% reported spending more than 1,000 euros (about $1245) for their whole trip, an average of 100 euros (about $125) more than what a typical international tourist spends.
Mobile use is high, with 43% using their phones every five minutes.
23% are keen to hang out with as many nationalities as possible while travelling compared to 8% who prefer to seek out other travelers from their own country.
“Millennials are growing up in a world where travel is easier and relatively cheaper than for previous generations and they are taking full advantage of this to travel the globe in search of new experiences,” according to the group’s website.