September 25, 2019

New Study Finds Travel Priorities Shift as We Age

Memo to travel brands everywhere: globetrotters say sustainability is critical and brand loyalty is not.

The just-released Priceline Generation Travel Index, a study of more than 1,500 U.S. adults spanning four generations - Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers – revealed that across all generations "sustainability" was cited as the most important factor when choosing an airline or hotel.

The middle generations – Millennials (57 percent) and Generation X (55 percent) were the most likely to consider sustainability the top concern, though that opinion was shared by nearly half of Gen Z (48 percent) and Baby Boomers (46 percent), according to the study.

Priceline's Generation Travel Index also reveals that key priorities shift as travelers age, (which should not be entirely surprising really.)

For instance, nearly one in two (48 percent) Gen Z respondents reported that social media posts inspire them to travel. In other words, it seems the reign of social media travel influencers is hardly over.

Gen Z is also the age group most likely to report feeling "pressure" to "post the perfect photo" while on vacation. Nearly one in three (29 percent), said this was the case.

"Gen Z Americans were the first age group to be raised entirely online, a fact that is reflected in their relationship to social media," states the study.

In addition, Gen Zers are the most likely group to be "thrill seekers" when they travel, according to the Priceline study.

Nearly one in five (19 percent) say they travel to experience "new, extreme" thrill but as travelers age, the desire for relaxation grows in turn.

As travelers age, the desire for relaxation grows. Four in ten Millennials (41 percent) seek relaxation on vacation, alongside five in ten Generation X travelers and nearly seven in ten Baby Boomers (68 percent).

Yet another notable finding from the study – price continues to be a priority when booking travel, no matter what generation you’re talking about.

In fact, the Priceline Generation Travel Index reveals that the cost of travel is the most important consideration for Americans of any age and that priority also grows over time.

Three quarters (75 percent) of Millennials said cost is their top priority when planning a vacation, a figure that rises to 80 percent among Generation X, and up to 86 percent of Baby Boomers.

More than two thirds (67 percent) of Gen Z travelers do believe that price is paramount, but in fact, they are the least cost-sensitive generation on the whole, and also the likeliest to characterize themselves as "big spenders" on vacation.

If given an extra $100 to spend on a trip, one in four respondents said they would spend it on "unique experiences," the most cited option, rather than airfare or lodging.

Only seven percent of Americans would spend that $100 upgrading their hotel, and only five percent would spend it on airfare. Nearly one in five (18 percent) of all respondents indicated they would spend it on food.

"The youngest travelers, in particular, want to spend their money on the experience of a vacation, rather than on a flight or hotel," said Ben Harrell, chief marketing officer of Priceline.

Here are some of the additional takeaways from the study:

American Pride Varies by Generation

Overall, 57 percent of Americans say they are "proud to identify as a US citizen" when traveling abroad.

More than two thirds (67 percent) of Generation X respondents and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Baby Boomers report feeling pride in their nationality.

Less than half (49 percent) of Generation Z respondents feel the same.

Nearly four in ten (39 percent) of Millennials report feeling self-conscious about identifying as an American.

Wifi and Eggs Should Be Free

More than eight in ten Americans (82 percent) expect Wi-Fi to be free when they travel, within a hotel in particular. Wi-Fi tops the list of hotel amenities that American travelers would be least willing to pay for. And the younger the respondent, the less willing they are to pay.

Nearly two thirds (64 percent) of Americans also expect their hotel to give them a free breakfast.

Copyright 2019 travAlliancemedia™. All rights reserved. From https://www.travelpulse.com. By Mia Taylor.

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