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Five generations of travellers and one favourite country

February 6, 2014 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

As we recently reported, 23% of the Australian population took an overseas holiday in the year to November 2013, with globe-trotting Generation Y (27%) and Baby Boomers (26%) leading the charge to foreign shores.

But where are they travelling to? Do destinations vary between age groups? Well yes, to a certain extent. But perhaps more surprising is the fact that one country topped the list as the most visited destination for all generations.

New Zealand: bridging the generation* gap

Overall, 3.5% of Australians holidayed in New Zealand in the 12 months to November 2013: 3.3% of Pre-Boomers, 4.4% of Baby Boomers, 3.3% of Gen X, 4.4% of Gen Y and 2.1% of Gen Z. Despite a gradual decline as a destination preference among Aussie travellers, New Zealand ranked ahead of England and the US (both 2.8%) in terms of visitation.

While higher percentages of Baby Boomers than Gen Y holidayed in perennial favourites England (4.2% vs 3.0%) and the United States (4.0% vs 3.5%), the younger travellers outnumbered the Boomers in most Asian destinations: Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Japan and India. Gen X recorded the highest proportion of visits to conveniently close, family-friendly destination Indonesia (3.2%).

Please click here to view interactive chart

As our interactive chart reveals, a traveller’s gender can also influence the countries they visit. A higher proportion of female than male travellers holidayed in ‘mainstream’ destinations such as New Zealand, England and the US, while more men visited less ‘well-trodden’ countries such as India, China and Japan.

Jane Ianiello, International Director of Tourism, Travel & Leisure, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“With its proximity to Australia, abundance of world-class natural attractions and relative affordability, New Zealand’s status as the most visited overseas destination for Aussies of all generations is no surprise. Even with its popularity as a preferred holiday-spot declining slightly in recent years, its ease and convenience (no long haul flights!) ensure that it’s a practical choice — which counts for a lot.

“Classic European destinations such as England and France attract a higher proportion of Boomer travellers than younger generations, possibly due to their expense compared to cheaper, more accessible Asian countries. And speaking of cost, it will be interesting to see whether visitation to the United States remains so high now that the Australian dollar has started to weaken against the US dollar.

“By considering generational and gender differences in when promoting particular destinations or packages, tour operators and travel agencies stand to reach a more responsive audience than those taking a more generalised approach with their marketing.”

* Roy Morgan ‘Generations’ definitions:

Pre-Boomers — Pre 1946; Baby Boomers — 1946-1960; Generation X — 1961-1975; Generation Y — 1976-1990; Generation Z — 1991-2005.

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