Project 18-40: Understanding the Younger Traveller

For a while now, we’ve been noticing a bit of a gap in some of the established visitor segmentation models we often use in our client work – where are the youngsters in those models and how do they feel about travelling in the UK? So, in 2023, alongside our research partner 56 Degree Insight, we set out to understand more about the characteristics, motivations and behaviours of UK-based Gen Z and Millennial travellers (those aged 18-40).

With 56 Degree Insight we ran a 15-minute online survey among 2,000 UK-based people aged 18-40. 40% were Gen Z and 60% were Millennials, and they were representative of other key demographics including sex, lifestage and ethnicity. They were also representative of the whole of the UK with coverage across England, Scotland, Wales and NI.

Initial findings showed that big shifts in life priorities and attitudes – many of which happen between the ages of 18 and 40 – drive changing travel needs, and the appeal of the UK as a destination for holidays increases with age. 30 in particular is a key milestone where there is a significant shift in travel attitudes and behaviours with jobs, income, tenure and having kids all being driving factors.

Unsurprisingly, we also found that climate change is high on their agenda with 74% seeing it as a major issue; the experience economy is important with 2/3 prizing experiences over possessions (but as many people see money as a signifier of success as those that don’t); and the cost of living is seen as the biggest barrier to travel in next two years.

But perhaps the more interesting and important finding is that these guys aren’t all the same when it comes to travel. In fact, as we suspected, there are some real differences in attitudes, behaviour and demographics within the 18-40 age range and within Gen Z and Millennials.

Now for the technical stuff….using a statistical approach called Latent Class Analysis, we’ve been able to use the findings from our research to create a segmentation solution with seven discrete segments which we have gone on to profile and size. There’s a summary of our segments below but have a look at our presentation if you want to understand more about who they are, what their travel behaviours are and how likely they are to travel in the UK.

If after that you want to find out even more about them or you’d like our help to understand your younger audiences better, just contact us.