Millennials view travel as essential for their personal growth, vacationing more often for both business and leisure than previous generations. That’s good news for the travel industry, especially since they make up the second-largest consumer base in the nation.
Millennials love to travel so much, in fact, they would rather travel than buy a home or car, according to a study released this month from market research institute Gfk, on behalf of Airbnb.
The study surveyed about 1,000 people 18- to 35-years-old in the United States, the United Kingdom and China, asking about their priorities for the next five years. More millennials said they set aside money to fund travel than paying off debt, purchasing a car or purchasing a home. Over 65% of Millennials polled said that “regular travel is an important part of my life.”
Nearly half of respondents (49%) in the United States put money aside on a regular basis to travel, followed by paying off debt. The data also showed more than half (56%) of American young people are spending more money on travel than they did a year ago.
In the United Kingdom, traveling and savings ranked almost equal and were prioritized more than buying a home. For Chinese Millennials, travel was the highest priority by a wide margin, followed by purchasing a car and purchasing a home.
Travel postings on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram were deemed more important than recommendations from friends, family or colleagues, according to the survey’s participant, a takeaway agents can use to their advantage by promoting vacations on their own pages. In addition, three-quarters of Millennials said they would share their travel experiences on social media, allowing for agents to benefit from wide-reaching promotion to the same age category.
In total, Millennials spend more than $200 billion each year on travel. FutureCast, a millennial marketing consultancy and partner company of Barkley Advertising Agency, recently published The Millennial Brief on Travel & Lodging, research and data of third-party sources to develop a report on millennial behavior in the lodging industry.
Millennials are travelling to new places as well. A new survey from youth tour operator Contiki found the top destinations amongst Millennials, polling more than 5,000 18-25 year olds. The most coveted travel experience for Millennials was bathing in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, followed by the Great Pyramids of Giza and walking the Great Wall of China. The data also revealed 56% of respondents said learning about new cultures was the strongest motivator to travel, and 74% said social experiences were more valuable.