The Motivations of European Travelers from Generation Z to Baby Boomers

Andrew van der Feltz, Senior Director, Business Development, Expedia Group Media Solutions
June 22, 2017
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People of all ages experience and enjoy travel—it’s not one size fits all. Each generation—from Generation Z to Boomers—has its own set of unique preferences, from what type of content attracts them, to what type of device they use to book a trip, to the types of destinations and experiences they seek. A new study from Expedia Media Solutions on multi-generational travel trends in Europe found that while Millennials take the most number of trips per year, Boomers are taking the longest ones. On average, Europeans take 3.7 trips per year.   

The study, Connecting the Digital Dots: The Motivations and Mindset of European Travelers,” explores the motivations and mindset of British, French, and German travelers across Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers as they research, plan, and book trips online.

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Here are three key takeaways from the study:

  • Use compelling imagery when trying to reach younger audiences. Ads with appealing imagery followed by ads with appealing deals influence 53 percent of Millennials and Gen Z travelers. For Gen X and Boomers, they are more likely to gravitate to informative content and helpful reviews.
  • Lead with unique activities and experiences. When prioritizing what influences booking preferences, all generations ranked activities and experiences significantly higher than price and deals. Gen Z is more likely than other generations to seek a once in a lifetime experience, whereas Boomers are more likely to look for a cultural experience than the younger age groups.
  • Create a multi-screen strategy. Younger generations are online and mobile; however, computers are still prevalent and all generations use them throughout the travel purchase journey. More than 50 percent of Gen Z and Millennials said they use their smartphone for inspiration compared to eight percent of Boomers. Smartphone use is significantly higher during the trip as more than 70 percent of Gen Z and Millennials are using their mobile devices. While all generations widely use their desktops and laptops, they play the largest role during the research and booking phases of the purchase journey. More than 70 percent of all generations and over 90 percent of boomers use their desktop or laptop when researching and booking travel.

For more insights on European travelers, you can download the full report here.

This post was originally published in Skift.

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Andrew van der Feltz
Senior Director, Business Development, Expedia Group Media Solutions
Andrew van der Feltz is a senior director of business development for the Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions at Expedia Group Media Solutions. His team works closely with agencies, destination marketing organizations, hotel and airline partners on advertising opportunities and campaigns across the portfolio of Expedia Group brands. Prior to joining Expedia, Andy was the director of business development and operations at the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) since April 2011. Prior to this, he also worked at NBTC in the London office as country manager for the UK and Ireland. He started his career at NBTC as marketing manager, after his role as an international marketing manager at VisitScotland. Andy studied Marketing and French in Scotland, continued his postdoc education at the Institute of Marketing in Edinburgh, and attended the Executive Educational Programme in General Management at the London Business School.
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