Wellness Travel High on Gen Z’s List of Travel Priorities

Wellness Travel High on Gen Z’s List of Travel Priorities

Although travel goals and styles change as people age, a look at trends for younger travelers can help prepare advisors for the demands of their future clients. Knowing that “dry breaks” and opportunities for mental health are important can help counselors determine what their focus may be five to 10 years from now.

StudentUniverse, a Travel Center Travel Group, released the results of its second annual State of Student Travel Report, revealing several trends for travelers aged 18 to 25.

“This is the second year we’ve produced this report and it’s interesting to see how the year-on-year change in this generation’s sense of travel shows significant changes in how they find travel inspiration and what it worries them more”, he said. Will Jones, brand manager at StudentUniverse. “These travelers represent a quarter of international travel arrivals and provide enormous value to the travel industry…”

The journey to mental health
Younger travelers are looking to travel for their mental wellbeing – 93% agreed that travel can have a positive impact on their mental health, while 89% reported returning from holidays feeling less anxious and more positive .

Dry growing holidays
Related to wellness travel is the growing interest in “dry” (alcohol-free) vacations. About 80% of respondents said they would go on holiday without alcohol. In addition to improving health, respondents noted that abstaining from alcohol has a number of benefits, including cost savings and prevention of potentially unsafe situations.

Travel as life development
Young travelers are increasingly looking to travel as a way to grow, both professionally and personally. Eighty-seven percent believe that being well-travelled improves their employability. In fact, 86% said they would work or volunteer in something related to their future career path. Respondents also said they believe travel improves skills such as interpersonal communication and provides a better understanding of how to work with people of different cultures.

Additionally, those already in the workforce are looking for opportunities to combine work and leisure travel.

Less interested in flying
A “standout” finding in this year’s report is the finding that Gen Z’s environmental concerns continue to grow. A small minority of student commuters (13%) indicated they would not fly because of emissions, and another 21% claimed they knew someone who refused to fly.

More importantly, nearly a quarter (23%) said they are willing to pay an optional carbon offset fee when booking.

Driven by technology, but appreciates human assistance
As a generation that has grown up fully connected, Gen Z is, unsurprisingly, willing to trust AI travel planning — to an extent. Just over half (51%) of respondents said they trust AI-generated travel itineraries, but only 21% said they’ve actually used a chatbot to build an itinerary. Most importantly for travel advisors, 92% said that in the event of an issue they would prefer to speak to an actual person and 87% indicated that they would be frustrated if they could not get through to a real person.

TikTok rules for inspiration
Of those surveyed, 88% said they are active on TikTok and 60% reported turning to the platform as their first choice for travel inspiration. Additionally, 88% follow at least one travel influencer with 40% reporting booking a vacation as a direct result of seeing content on TikTok.

Where are US Gen Z travelers headed in 2024
1. Italy

  1. Japan
    3. Greece
    4. United Kingdom
    5. France
    6. Spain
    7. Australia
    8. Canada
    9. New Zealand
    10. Brazil

Where are Canadian Gen Z travelers heading in 2022
1. Italy
2. Japan
3. United Kingdom
4. Greece
5. France
6. Australia
7. Spain
8. USA
9. Germany
10. New Zealand

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