Cost pressures ‘burst post-Covid Gen Z travel bubble’

Cost pressures mean that younger people are planning to cut back on holidays this summer – bursting the post-Covid travel bubble, new research reveals.

A survey of 2,000 consumers found a quarter (25%) of Gen Z respondents do not plan to take a holiday over the next three months, up from 18% last year. 

Travel intentions are down across the board, with 35% of all consumers not planning to take a holiday, compared to 32% last year, according to there study by audit, tax and consulting firm RSM UK.

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Overseas travel is affected most, with only a quarter (26%) of Gen Z respondents planning to take a foreign holiday of five days or more, a sharp drop from 40% last year.

This trend also applies to short overseas breaks, which dropped from 33% last year to 22% this year for Gen Z, and from 20% to 15% for all consumers.

Travel plans are taking the hit of “acute cost pressures”, with almost a third (29%) of Gen Z stating that they do not have any monthly income left after paying for essentials, and almost a quarter (22%) saying they only have up to 20% left at the end of the month.

However, domestic travel intentions increased from 12% to 15% across all age groups, suggesting the UK staycations market could see an uptick in demand this summer.

RSM UK consumer markets senior analyst Robyn Duffy said: “Our findings suggest the post-Covid travel bubble has burst, with Gen Z consumers in particular, losing the travel bug. 

“Despite economic pressures easing, this has yet to filter through to consumers feeling better off and we’re seeing this play out in their travel intentions. Gen Z often tend to be in the lower income brackets than other generations, and are therefore more exposed to crippling rents, challenges with getting their foot on the property ladder and high interest rates.”

The firm’s head of hotels, travel and tourism, Chris Tate, added: “For those feeling the squeeze, travel can be costly and therefore an easy area to cut back on.

“This is particularly true for holidays abroad, with expensive flights even for short overseas breaks, pushing up prices. 

“This could be encouraging for the UK staycation market which appears more stable and less impacted by dwindling travel intentions; but, as always this will be highly dependent on whether the sun shines on the UK summer.”

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