Looking for youth travel statistics, trends, and facts?
Well, youth travel is becoming a dominant form of tourism and travel in the industry. Travel and tourism companies must pay attention to youth travelers in order to stay relevant in today’s market.
Even if individual locations are not catering to youth travelers specifically, youth travelers dominate exposure and buzz around individual locations, leading to innovation and additional guests.
Accounting for nearly one-fourth of all international arrivals, there are about 336 million youth travelers in the world. This has led to a $333 billion industry that cannot be ignored.
Though the industry obviously took a dip with the pandemic, it is quickly gaining speed faster than ever.
So, what are the most common Youth travel statistics? In the list below you can find the key facts and statistics about youth travel:
- 80% of youth travelers use travel agencies for booking decisions.
- There are about 336 million youth travelers today.
- Youth travelers account for many international and backpacking trips.
- 25% of international travelers are youth travelers.
- Youth travelers stay at their destination for an average of 53 days.
- The youth travel industry is worth $333 billion.
- 35% of youth travelers rated interacting with local people as an important aspect of their trip.
Organizations like tourism companies, as well as the United Nations, all care about youth travel. To find out more about youth travel today and how it may change in the future, keep reading. In this article, we will look at all of the key youth traveler statistics you need to know.
Key Youth Travel and Student Stats
- 56% of the National Tour Association participates with students in youth travel.
- There are about 190,000,000 international trips taken per year by students and youth travelers.
- 20% of all international tourists classify as student or youth travelers.
- The global student market is valued at around $173 billion.
One thing that makes youth travel dramatically different from older generation travels is that the young tend to travel for educational purposes more than anything else.
This is especially true for youth travelers who travel with their University or schools.
👉 In fact, about 56% of the National Tour Association participates with students in youth travel specifically. Just in international travels alone, the global student youth market is valued at around $173 billion.
👉 This is because there are about 190,000,000 international trips taken per year by students and youth travelers. This causes about 20% of all international tourists to classify as student or youth travelers.
👉 It is important to note that youth travelers tend to stay longer than most other travelers. On average, youth travelers stay 53 days in their location.
This is largely because youth travelers tend to go for school trips, which can last an entire semester if not longer.
Youth Tourism By Region
- 36% of youth travelers go to Africa.
- 34% of youth travelers go to Asia or Europe.
- 31% of youth travelers go to the Americas.
- 16% of youth travelers go to the Middle East.
- The United States, Spain, and France are the most popular countries for youth travel trips.
Youth tourism is rather evenly dispersed in comparison to other types of travel.
👉 A little over 35% of youth travelers go to Africa, which is the leading location for youth travel. After that, Asia and Europe are tied for second place at just around 34%.
👉 The Americas come in as a close third. About 31% of youth travelers go to this location. The region with the least amount of youth travelers is the Middle East, which has about 16% of travelers. The large difference between the Middle East and the other regions is because of the political strife within the region.
Looking at youth tourism as a whole, the top destinations for youth travel included the United States, Spain, France, and Italy. After that, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands were popular locations as well.
Youth Travel and Spending Habits
- Students and youth travelers spend between $1000 and $6000 per trip.
- Most youth travelers spend most of their budget on airfare.
👉 In terms of spending habits, youth travel does not differ from family travel much. On average, students and youth travelers spend between $1000 and $6000 per trip.
This larger price tag for travels is largely due to the fact that young travelers tend to travel internationally the most, which costs notably more than domestic travel.
Youth Travel and Deciding Factors
- 80% of all youth travel bookings go through travel agencies.
- Only about 25% of family travels have used travel agents over the last FIVE years
- There are about 16,000 student tour operators and agencies worldwide.
In travel as a whole, more travelers are using independent means to research and plan trips. This primarily includes using sources on the internet, such as travel reviews and social media. Youth travelers actually go against this trend.
👉 About 80% of all youth travel bookings go through travel agencies each year. To put that in perspective, only about 25% of family travels have used travel agents over the last FIVE years, which results in about 5% a year.
Because youth travel uses more agencies, there are about 16,000 student tour operators and agencies worldwide.
It is estimated that more youth travelers use travel agencies because of the type of travel they are doing. Since they are going to more remote locations for longer periods of time, they talk to agencies for advice and safety.
Additionally, schools will hire agencies to make the process of traveling with a lot of students much easier.
Youth Travel and Backpacking
- 68% of backpackers are under the age of 30.
- 50.4% of backpackers have an undergraduate degree.
- 27.3% of backpackers have a postgraduate degree.
- 69.3% backpack for an authentic holiday experience.
- 11.4% backpack to visit friends and family.
- 10.2% backpack for volunteerism.
Both on the domestic and international scale, youth travelers love to backpack. Backpacking is seen among all age groups, but it is most popular among the younger generations. In fact, around 68% of backpackers are under the age of 30, firmly classifying them as youth travelers.
Interestingly, there is no gender difference between backpackers. Additionally, most are highly educated.
👉 50.4% have an undergraduate degree, and 27.3% have a postgraduate degree. Despite having high education, most of them are in the early stages of their career, which is indicated through low monthly earnings.
👉 The reason for backpacking largely reflects youth travelers’ desires for traveling in general. About 69.3% of them backpack for an authentic holiday experience, whereas 11.4% backpack to visit friends and family, and 10.2% backpack for volunteerism.
Who are youth travelers?
👉 Young travelers, sometimes referred to collectively as youth travelers, are between the ages of 15 and 29.
The majority of these individuals come from the Millennial (more correctly called Generation Y) and Generation Z age groups.
👉 Millennials are those who are roughly born between the early 1980s and late 1990s. Most people classify Millennials as those being born between the years 1980 and 1995 or 1996. The exact years differ from site to site.
Generation Z picks up where Millennials leave off. Roughly, individuals who are born after the year 2000 classify as Generation Z.
👉 It is unclear if people born between 1995 and 1999 classify as Millennials or Generation Z because they have many of the same generational experiences as both categories.
What is the value of youth travel?
👉 Youth travel has a lot of value in the market. In 2018, the exact value of the international youth market was over $333 billion. That is an increase of nearly 175% from the year 2009 alone.
Before COVID-19, it was estimated for the industry to reach over $400 billion and 370 million youth travelers, but obviously, that estimate did not come true because of the pandemic.
Nevertheless, youth travel is one of the most valued forms in the travel and tourism industry. One of the leading reasons for this is because the youth attract other people to destinations.
Young people tend to bring a buzz to certain locations, causing the older generations to follow suit.
Youth travel especially creates a lot of buzz using social media. Today, travel is becoming more and more determined by the influences of social media and online use.
Because the youth dominates social media and internet uses, it makes sense for their travels to be featured the most on these sites.
Here are the most common ways that youth travel impacts tourism, development, marketing, and more:
- Youth travel increases the economic effects of tourism and travel.
- Youth travel spreads tourism to new areas around the world.
- Youth travel fights the effects of seasonality in many locations.
- Youth travel offers a much more sturdy and resilient form of tourism for the market.
- Youth travel creates a future tourism business that offers lifetime value to all participants.
- Youth travel leads to innovation.
Even though the industry values the money brought in by the travelers, youth travelers do not think about their travels as heavily in terms of money.
Instead, youth travelers view learning experiences and memories as being the true value of their travels. Because of this fact, more Millennials and Generation Z individuals are willing to go into debt for their travels.
Do youth travelers support local communities?
In addition to adding a lot of value to the overall travel market, youth travelers support local communities specifically.
One way that youth travelers are different from their older generations is that they value authentic cultures and experiences the most. Youth travelers look for local communities to experience.
👉 In 2014, 35% of young travelers rated interacting with local people as an important aspect of their trip. More so, 45% agreed that experiencing the everyday life of the country they are visiting is an important factor. This causes youth travelers to support local communities much more than older generations.
Youth travel is a trend that is becoming more and more popular every year. Especially over the last 10 years, youth travel has become more popular than ever, both on the domestic and international scale.
Youth travel is especially popularized because of study abroad and educational purposes.
Even though COVID-19 has put a hold on the travel market, it is bouncing back better than ever. As was expected, COVID-19 has actually caused more interest in youth travel, especially solo travel.
This causes many to wonder exactly how popular the industry will be within the next couple of years.
Regardless of what the upcoming years tell us, one thing remains: youth travel is a powerful force that is not going anywhere.
It is so powerful, in fact, that it also affects all other forms of travel by popularizing certain locations and leading to more innovation.
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