New Horizons is a five year research programme started in 2002 that surveys over 10,000 youth travellers around the world on their travel behaviour. Through this series of reports, WYSE Travel Confederation endeavours to further advance an understanding of the unique travel motivations, activities, booking and spending habits of young travellers.
Here are some of the findings from the third edition, due to be released shortly:
- The number of travellers older than age 30 showed the biggest percentage increase from 2007, rising from 10% of the market to 17%, while younger travellers, aged 23-30, have seen a decrease of a similar percentage.
- Travellers above age 25 generally self- financed their trips; those younger relied on their parents’ contributions to fund their excursions.
- The number of people who self-identified themselves as tourist rose at the expense of the term traveller. Likewise, more people associated themselves with the more affluent flashpacker, compared to backpacker.
- As in previous studies, most young travellers sought a combination of leisure (sitting in cafes), retail (shopping) & local knowledge (historical sites) during their holidays.
- Young people continued to spend when they travel. The average is €3,000 per trip, €50 a day, with self-identified flashpackers the highest spenders, followed by backpackers & travellers.
- The biggest difference between 2007 & 2012 was the length of visit. The average stay of 58 days was almost a week more than in the previous study.
- Volunteers on average spend close to 70 days away from home. Travellers & flashpackers nearly 60, followed by backpackers & tourists.
- The ability to book using mobile devices is now the second biggest consideration after price. Online booking is ranked behind “close proximity to a physical travel agency” as far as importance.
- Websites are, however, still how most young travellers seek information about future destinations.
- Both Southern and Northern Europe saw a slight decrease as destination of choice. The US experienced a boost as did Australasia, North Africa and South America..
- The city most young travellers wanted to visit was Rio de Janeiro, followed by Tokyo, Sydney, Buenos Aires and San Francisco.
What caused these changes? Being young during the financial crisis? The evolution of tastes as twenty somethings reached their thirties? The full New Horizons III Survey is due shortly and is free for WYSE Travel Confederation Members.
WYSE Travel Confederation is proud that this report has been selected for inclusion in a compendium of research on the student and youth travel market to be published by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
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