Breaking down the travel trends between baby boomers, millennials: TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor's TripBarometer study unveils top travel trends for 2019

TripAdvisor has released its annual TripBarometer study, revealing a significant gap in spending habits between older and younger generations, as well as how travellers choose destinations and accommodation.

TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer study unveils the top travel trends for 2019

Hotel brands
When selecting hotels, Asian travellers, particularly those from China, value hotel brands much more than Europeans, with 82% of Chinese travellers reporting that it is important to stay in a hotel with a brand name they know and trust.

Travellers from the UK are the least interested in hotel brands (22%), according to the report.

Families are also more likely to prefer a hotel with a brand they trust (44%) compared to other traveller groups.

The generation gap – spending and pre-booked attractions
The TripBarometer results show the divide in spending habits between generations, with participating baby boomers spending almost twice as much on accommodation (S$1,540, or US$1,137) when compared to their children’s generation.

Millennials have the smallest accommodation budget by a significant margin, spending an average of just S$675 on accommodation on their most recent trip. However, while younger travellers are more cautious with their finances, they are just as willing as their parents’ generation to pay a little more for luxury, with 54% of millennials and 56% of baby boomers prepared to pay a little more for a luxury trip, TripAdvisor said.

The 25-34 age group is also more likely to be attracted to a great deal, with 16% being prompted to think about their trip because of a bargain – however, this declines with age; 65+ age group are less tempted by a deal (9%).

Younger people are less fixed on a destination when they start thinking about a trip, with 46% of participating 18-24 year olds having decided on their destination before starting their research. For the 65+ age group this is a lot higher; 70% have already decided where to go.

Millennials are more likely to book attractions than older travellers, with almost half (49%) pre-booking things to do before embarking on their trip. Baby boomers are far less likely to book in advance with just over one third (35%) pre-booking attractions. However, across all respondents, the majority (57%) do not take advantage of bookable experiences, potentially meaning longer time spent queuing for tickets and entry while on holiday.

Choosing a destination
When it comes to choosing a destination, culture is more of a factor than weather for participating travellers. One third (34%) choose their destination to experience the culture, society and people, compared to just one fifth (20%) of travellers who are seeking good weather.

City breaks are the most popular type of trip, with nearly one in three travellers (30%) taking a city break, and this type of trip is even more popular among millennials (42%). Millennials are also far more likely to conduct thorough research to find the right accommodation and flight combination to make their city break a more economical trip, and to stay within their limited budget.

Most expensive holidays
Surprisingly, cruises came out as the most expensive type of holiday, at an average cost of S$5,442 per person, even more than safaris (S$4,626) which might traditionally be seen as one of the most expensive types of trips. Unsurprisingly, some of the cheapest trips were taken by travellers visiting family or friends (S$3,017).

The TripBarometer survey, conducted by independent research firm Ipsos MORI in partnership with TripAdvisor, is the analysis of more than 23,000 responses from TripAdvisor travellers across 33 markets worldwide. They were quizzed about their most recent trip, including their destination, budget, activities and concerns while travelling.

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