They prefer alcohol-free vacations and care for nature: TikTok inspires students to travel more

By TravelWiseFeb 21, 2024 18:55 PMNews
They prefer alcohol-free vacations and care for nature: TikTok inspires students to travel more
Tourists aged 18-25 account for a quarter of international tourist arrivals. Source: Freepik

StudentUniverse, a Flight Centre Travel Group company, has released its annual State of Student & Youth Travel Report, which showcases travel trends among Generation Z travelers. In particular, it includes how TikTok can influence travel decisions.

"This is the second year in a row that we've produced this report, and it's exciting to see how the year-to-year difference in this generation's travel sentiment shows a significant shift in how they find inspiration for travel and what they care about most," says Will Jones, Brand Manager at StudentUniverse. "Travelers aged 18-25 account for a quarter of international tourist arrivals and are a major contributor to the travel industry, so our goal with these reports is to help provide valuable insights into the trends and sentiments that drive Generation Z travelers," Hotel Business writes.

People arelooking for travel ideason TikTok

Of all those surveyed, 88% said they were active on TikTok, and 60% said they turn to the platform primarily for travel inspiration. In addition, 88% follow at least one influencer, and 40% reported having booked a vacation directly influenced by content they saw on TikTok. This is a significant impact when you consider that the student and youth travel market numbers 370 million worldwide and has a purchasing power of over USD 400 billion.

Viewing travel as a career investment

One of the most talked-about travel trends that has emerged as a result of flexible working policies implemented during the pandemic is that of leisure travel. While those who are already working may be looking for opportunities to combine travel with work and leisure, the younger generation, who have not yet entered the workforce or have recently started working, have instead begun to see travel not only as an opportunity to relax, but also to lay the foundation for their careers by taking advantage of professional opportunities. Of those surveyed, 78% expressed interest in professional travel, and 87% believe that travel will improve their chances of finding a job. In addition, 86% said they would work or volunteer in a field related to their future career. Respondents provided feedback by noting that traveling helps to improve abilities such as interpersonal communication and provides a broader understanding of how to connect with people from different cultures. These are the values that Generation Z believes make them more competitive in the labor market.

Alcohol-free vacations are popular

To this day, young travelers are still associated with images of rowdy spring breakers crammed into cheap bars. However, as with the trend of traveling for mental well-being, today's young travelers are more focused on overall wellness. As Generation Z strives to make healthier choices, it's no surprise that 80% of respondents said they would like to take an alcohol-free vacation. In addition to improved health, survey respondents noted that abstaining from alcohol has a number of benefits, including saving money and preventing potentially dangerous situations.

Concerns about environmental issues

A notable development in this year's report is the discovery that Generation Z's concern for the environment continues to grow. This year's survey found that a small minority of students and youth travelers (13%) said they would not travel by air because of harmful emissions, and another 21% already know someone who refuses to travel by air. Another 23% said they would be willing to pay an additional fee to offset carbon emissions when booking, and 50% said they would prefer to book through a platform with a high sustainability score.

Interaction with new technologies

The generation that grew up with the constant presence of computers and personal electronic devices demonstrates a willingness to test and implement new technologies. This is especially true of perhaps the hottest technology trend - artificial intelligence (AI). Of those surveyed, 51% said they trusted travel itineraries generated by artificial intelligence, and 21% said they had used chatbots to build an itinerary. However, Generation Z continues to place a high value on the human element, noting that 92% would prefer to speak to a human if they had a problem, and 87% said they would be disappointed if they were unable to reach a real person.

Where students are headed in 2024

In addition to the survey results, the report also reveals the most popular destinations based on booking data from StudentUniverse transactions.

The most popular countries for American Generation Z

Italy, Japan, Greece, Great Britain, France, Spain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Brazil.

The most popular countries for Canadian Generation Z

Italy, Japan, UK, Greece, France, Australia, Spain, USA, Germany, New Zealand.

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