Young adults are increasingly booking holidays and other trips online and as separate products rather than as packages from tour operators, a new study by market researchers Yougov in Germany has confirmed.
The current generation of 18-34 year-olds, the so-called ‘millennials’, are taking advantage of technology more than ever before to book travel through the internet, a wide-ranging survey found. For example, the readiness of millennials to book accommodation through Booking.com has risen from 25% to 28% over the last two years, while Airbnb has increased from 15% to 19%.
In contrast, traditional tour operators such as TUI are losing popularity among the first generation of ‘digital natives’. TUI’s score has fallen from 22% two years ago to 19%, according to the ‘Millennials as Digital Travellers’ study.
This ‘Generation Y’ uses the internet intensively to research travel information, the study confirmed. For example, two out of five (39%) pay attention to online hotel evaluations, compared to only 29% of respondents aged over 35.
Unsurprisingly, young adults are careful with their travel spending. More than a quarter (27%) selected their most recent holiday destination taking low costs into account, compared to only 18% of consumers over 35. In contrast, only 20% of millennials selected their destination because they had already been there and enjoyed their stay.
Commenting on the results, Yougov consultant Sven Runge warned that TUI and other traditional travel companies should take note of the trends. “Traditional providers should continually monitor the travel behaviour and needs of Generation Y, in order not to completely lose them as customers to suppliers of individual products.”