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Born Globetrotters – The Evolution of Young Australian Travellers

April 21, 2017 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Contiki has released travel insights from their Contiki 2017 Youth Evolution Report that looks into behaviours and trends of Young Australians (18-36 years of age) and also explores what the future traveller might look like.

With the great Australian dream of owning your own home still evident in the psyche of Australia’s young people, it nevertheless seems harder to obtain. It is therefore not surprising to see the priorities and expenses of Australia’s young people today turning to experiences and especially travel. Their greatest desire is to have full financial freedom and independence (69% of 18-21 year olds), just beyond travelling and seeing the world (64% of 18-21 year olds; cf. 22-36: 58%; 37+: 52%).

The Youth Traveller of today and tomorrow is more willing to go into debt for travel than previous generations. 39% of 22-36 year olds and 36% of 18-21 year olds consider taking out a loan for a holiday as an option compared to just a fifth (21%) of 37+ year olds.

“Travel is a goal young people put high on their priority list and it is seen as a gateway to experience the new. It’s also simply a goal they are able to achieve more easily than other life-markers such as owning a home,” says Katrina Barry, Managing Director Contiki Australia.

Three quarters (74%) of 18-21 year olds have already travelled overseas, with nearly eight out of ten (79%) having first travelled internationally before the age of 16 (cf. 46% of 22-36 year olds and 21% of 37+). Still, 76% of 18-21 year olds want to travel more than they currently do. Considering this it is no surprise that on of their biggest fears is not travelling enough (42%; cf. to 22-36 and 37 plus: 34%) and more than a third (34%) are currently saving for travel.

Being so well travelled young Aussies are craving new experiences with food (18-21: 35%; cf. Australians overall: 29%), sightseeing (27%; cf. 46%) and cultural experiences (17%; cf. 14%) topping their list of travel expenses.

Their desire for unique and adventurous experiences has also helped boosting the popularity of more exotic destinations such as Machu Picchu, Vietnam and Cambodia. 29% of 18-21 year olds indicate adventure is one of their main motivators to choose one destination over another (cf. to 22-36: 17%; 37+: 9%).

It is estimated Australians between the age of 18-75 will spend approximately $32.9 billion on overseas travel in 2017. 18-21 year old Australians will be responsible for nearly a fifth of this ($5.9b cf. to 22-36: $20.4b; 37+: $48.3b).

Cheaper costs for flights and easier access to previously remote destinations has made short trips much more popular amongst travellers. Short term departures have increased drastically from just over 1.5 million in 1986 to 9.9 million in 2016; this is predicted to increase to 13.8 million by 2030.

When the Youth Traveller of the future travels, their inspiration will come more and more from social media. Instagram is the most prevalent go-to source for young travellers with two in five (40%) of 18-21 year olds sourcing this platform as their point of travel ‘inspo’ (cf. to 22-36: 23%; 37+: 3%).

“Our research shows how impactful the young age group already is for the travel industry and it also gives us an understanding of what the traveller of the future is going to look like. Adventure, food and social media will be key factors for the next traveller generation. At Contiki we have just launched Limited Edition itineraries dedicated to food, called Munch, and trips to some of the most instagrammed locations in the world including Venice and Berlin,” comments Barry.

The travel bug – summary of the future traveller (18-21 year olds)

  • For 64% to see the world is their second greatest desire
  • 74% have already travelled overseas
  • 79% have travelled internationally before the age of 16
  • 76% want to travel more; 23% regret not travelling enough
  • 34% are currently saving for travel
  • 36% are willing to accumulate debt for travel
  • Are going to spend $5.9b on overseas travel in 2017
  • Food (35%), sightseeing (27%), culture (17%) top their travel expenses
  • For 29% adventure is the key motivator to choose one destination over another
  • 40% source travel inspiration from Instagram

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