YouGov head of travel and tourism Eva Satkute Stewart assesses Gen Z and Millennial demand
People are feeling the wanderlust this year, especially younger people in the UK. How far they’ll travel is key here; Gen Z and Millennial demand for domestic holidays trails that of the rest of the country (48% vs. 52% of all UK adults in March 2022), younger consumers are 11-points more likely to say they plan to travel abroad over the next 12 months (54% vs. 43%).
A closer look at accommodation trends reveals people who book short-term holiday rentals tend to be younger with more trips under their belts over the last year compared to those who book hotel or motel stays. Just over half of Brits who stayed in a home rental last year were Millennials (53%) and 15% were Gen Z. By comparison, 43% of those who stayed in hotels or motels were Millennials and just 9% were Gen Z.
Data from YouGov Profiles – an advanced audience intelligence tool updated every week – also shows that people who stayed at a short-term holiday rental took two or more trips last year (47%) versus 38% of those who stayed in hotels/motels.
Perhaps what’s most interesting though, are the brands that have been top-of-mind for Gen Z and Millennials in terms of consideration over the last year. We asked younger Brits about the hotels and travel companies (excluding airlines) that they have been most likely to consider booking with over the last 12 months – and Booking.com leads brands with a consideration score of 42.2. While Booking.com’s initial offering focused on travel services such airline and hotel bookings, the online travel agency has also built up its short-term rental business over the last few years.
Consideration is also high for short-term home rental giant Airbnb and major budget hotel chain Premier Inn; roughly two in five Gen Z and Millennial consumers say they would consider booking with Airbnb (39.7) and Premier Inn (39.3).
We know that both Gen Z and Millennials show a strong preference for unique accommodations such as those provided by Airbnb, but it’s clear that price will also play a strong factor in their decision to travel this year. Compared to the country overall, this younger segment is significantly more likely to say the price of travel (36% vs. 23% of all UK adults) and the price of accommodations (22% vs. 17%) is currently preventing them from travelling this year. This price sensitivity may explain why the budget hotel chain Premier Inn resonates so strongly with younger consumers.
In terms of Ad Awareness, or the share of consumers who recently saw an ad for the brand, no other company showed greater improvement among Gen Z and Millennials than Airbnb. The travel accommodation business registered an uptick of 5.9 points in advertising penetration year-over-year among younger generations. The other top improvers (excluding airlines) this year include Premier Inn (+5.2 points), Booking.com (+5.1 points), Jet2holidays (+5 points) and TUI (+4.3 points).
As marketers measure and evaluate what’s in store for post-pandemic travel this year, it’ll be as important as ever to focus on consumer experiences and overall brand perceptions. From how people prefer to book, through what they consider to be barriers, to the brands that resonate most strongly among specific travel audiences, YouGov Global Travel Profiles can provide the travel intelligence that brands need during this critical recovery phase for the industry.
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