Two in five intend to take an international trip in the next 12 months as compared to three in ten who want to travel domestically
As global travel opens up after two years of restrictions amidst the pandemic, YouGov’s latest report “Youth of Today, Travel of Tomorrow” reveals more than two in five Gen Zs (those aged 18-24 years) in the UAE (43%) said they intend to travel abroad for leisure in the next 12 months, with intent for international travel within this cohort being one of the highest across the globe.
The report aims to understand Gen Zs globally, explores what matters to them as well as uncovers their expectations from travel, and identifies the best ways to connect and engage with this generation of travellers.
Data from the whitepaper shows that three quarters of Gen Zs across the globe plan to undertake some form of travel in the next 12 months (75%). By comparing Gen Z’s future intent to take domestic or international vacations across 25 surveyed markets, we find that those in Asian countries like Indonesia (57%), Thailand (55%) and Malaysia (54%) have a greater desire to vacation domestically in the next 12 months. On the other hand, those in Europe, particularly Germany (50%), Denmark (47%) and France (43%), are more inclined to go for an international vacation. Gen Zs in the UAE stand out in terms of international travel sentiment, with a higher proportion planning to take an international trip than domestic in next 12 months (43% VS 30%).
When it comes to the choice of accommodations while travelling, Gen Zs in most surveyed markets report budget-friendly hotels as their primary accommodation type, but in about 20 of the 25 surveyed countries, luxury accommodations rank among the top three choices. However, its popularity is higher in Middle Eastern countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where it ranks as the number one accommodation type.
In terms of factors that influence choice of travel destination, the ease of travel and deals on flights, hotels, and activities are top considerations for Gen Z in UAE with nearly two in five (41% each) stating these reasons as most important drivers. Comparatively, travel brochures (16%) and recommendations from travel agents (21%) rank lower on the list of factors influencing destination choice. For travel marketers and tourism boards, this is an important insight as it shows that lucrative price deals and comfort may together act as a better proposition for Gen Z travelers.
Furthermore, we see that Gen Z, also known as the "digital natives", are very dependent on technology, and social media plays a major part of their lives. Data from YouGov Custom Research indicates that about nine in ten (88%) Gen Z consumers currently follow a social media influencer and out of these, almost one in five (19%) follow a travel influencer. When we look at travel influencer following by country, we find that Gen Zs in UAE are more likely to follow a travel influencer than the global average (23% vs 19%). For travel companies, this presents an array of opportunities to channel their efforts towards influencer campaigns and online promotions in order to target and engage this digitally savvy generation of travellers.