TRAVEL & MARKETING: Gen Y Follows Their Gut
Posted on 9/6/2011 by Matt Walters
It appears that fast food is losing its appeal at the expense of local cuisine and restaurants, the report finds that 97% of 18 to 35-year olds agree that food is the most important element of travel. In what appears to be a way to keep the memories going after the trip is over, 57% of the travelers are replicating the recipes at home, and a quarter of travellers even changing their dietary habits to incorporate foods they ate while on holidays.
Next on the list, music and art was another very high priority while on vacation. Most of the respondents said they visited local museums and galleries while traveling, while 88% went to see local bands or music. Fashion was less popular, however, with about half of travellers having seen a fashion show, and buying souvenirs fell off the radar altogether.
The findings came as a surprise to Contiki’s managing director, Fiona Hunt, who said the report confirmed that the profile of 18 to 35-year old travellers was changing. “Young travellers are no longer happy to sit and watch their holiday go by from the traditional tourist hotspots,” she said. “They want to get involved, get immersed in local culture, and they want their holiday to be based on what they find interesting in their daily life.” Labelling overseas travel before the 1990s a “predictable venture” where travellers stuck to popular spots to avoid nasty surprises, Hunt said today’s 18 to 35s want to get a taste of the unknown. “They want to get their hands dirty, get off the beaten track and bring a little bit of their experience home with them,” she said.
Hunt pointed to the internet as the force driving the change in attitudes, but admitted that there could be other factors involved. She can’t be far off the mark though, with the findings also showing Australian globetrotters send an average of 10.8 emails, as well as making 7.9 Facebook updates each holiday. “We’re not entirely sure what’s driving the change, but technology has revolutionised how people are travelling,” she said. “People are researching their holidays more, they know where they want to go, and more than ever, they know what they want.”
Young Australians are also visiting new places. While Europe has been Contiki’s flagship destination in the past, 18 to 35s are increasingly fascinated by Asia, with 53% of the survey’s 1005 respondents visiting Asia in the last three to four years. Almost one third visited Europe, 26% holidayed in the Pacific and 23% travelled to the US.
Excited by the growth in Asia, Hunt revealed plans to launch into the China market. Breaking into the South American market later this year is also on the cards.
Although tight-lipped on the exact details, Hunt said that there will be a “string of announcements” in the coming months. “We’re taking this research under our belt so we can respond to our customer base, but I can say there will be more to come as we continue to engage with the youth market,” she said.
Adapted from: Contiki Holidays 2011 Style Miles Report