New year, new travel priorities for consumers in 2018
A consumer shift away from material goods towards experiences is moving into the travel world, with a new report showing a newfound value on building lifelong memories over acquiring the latest luxury handbag.
In a survey conducted by The Center for Generational Kinetics for online travel agency Expedia, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of the more than 1,250 United States respondents aged 18 to 65 polled said they would prioritize spending any spare change or disposable income on experiences over products or things.
More than half of American respondents (57 percent) also said they’re currently saving money specifically to pay for upcoming travel.
That figure is highest for millennials, with 65 percent of consumers in this age bracket making the biggest effort to save for travel.
The survey also revealed generational differences when it comes to travel preferences.
While the youngest cohort, generation Z, values adventure and new experiences more than anything else, Baby Boomers are more likely to prioritize traditional travel experiences like sightseeing and touring.
The groups sandwiched in the middle, gen X and Millennials, on the other hand, seek out relaxing vacations such as beach and spa destinations.
Social media has also changed the way consumers make travel choices, with platforms like Instagram and Facebook usurping the role of traditional advertising.
For example, more than a third of gen Z travelers (36 percent), said they’ve chosen a travel destination after seeing posts on social media.
More than a quarter of millennials (27 percent), have also turned to social media to canvas their friends and connections before booking a trip.
The survey results echo the findings of a recent U.S. study published in the journal tourism management, which found that the potential validation of peers and friends on social media can play just as important a role as price and weather in determining travel choices.
The more impressive a destination can sound to peers on social media, the more likely people are to book a trip in the near future, according to the research.
“Social media is a factor that cannot be ignored by travel providers. It has a profound impact on various aspects of a younger consumer’s lifestyle and is now a primary means through which these consumers weigh and make purchase decisions, including travel,” concludes the report. JB
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